Suffolk appeal boosts relief efforts

AN appeal launched in Suffolk to help people struck by the devastating cyclone in Bangladesh has raised £19,000.Organisers are planning to bring the appeal to a close soon with another big event next month.

AN appeal launched in Suffolk to help people struck by the devastating cyclone in Bangladesh has raised £19,000.

Organisers are planning to bring the appeal to a close soon with another big event next month.

They are thrilled with the support they have had from the public for the ABC Appeal - and have said a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved so far.

Alam Shamim, owner of Bombay Nights restaurant in Walton High Street, Felixstowe, who has been co-ordinating the events, said: “We were hoping to raise a lot of money and £19,000 is a fantastic sum.

“We have had wonderful support from so many people and we cannot thank them enough for their help.”

A ball is now being planned to take place at the Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park, on October 16.

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The appeal was launched last November after a cyclone swept across Bangladesh, killing 15,000 people, damaging more than two million acres of crops and killing 1.25 million livestock.

The Bangladesh government estimated nearly one billion dollars would be needed to rebuild the infrastructure and restore livelihoods.

The Bangladeshi community in the Ipswich, Felixstowe and Woodbridge areas were desperate to help and the appeal has been supported by a wide companies, councils, banks, Ipswich Town, civic leaders and the police, and the media.

One of the main aims is to fund the complete reconstruction of one of the villages destroyed.

Fundraisers say every penny makes a huge different - £5 can buy a family food for a day, £10 pays for medical needs for a whole family, £20 provides clothing for a family, £50 for a household water purifier, £100 pays for a temporary shelter for a family and just £300 for a permanent family shelter.

Fundraising events included a series of special dinner nights at restaurants, as well as raffles, collections and other activities.

Mr Shamim said one special donation had come from churches in Ipswich, who donated £700 raised from their Lent dinners.

“This was a marvellous gesture and we are very grateful,” he said.

“It is wonderful when faiths all work together like this to support each other and most importantly to help the people caught up in this dreadful cyclone.”

What do you think of the appeal's success? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk