Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Friday, 7 March 2008

3m raised for children's hospice

Construction of the hospice in Eltham
The hospice plans to open at the end of the year

An appeal to build the first children's hospice in south London has raised almost 3m in a year.

The Demelza Hospice Care for Children launched its appeal last March to raise 6.5m for the centre in Eltham.

The residential facility will serve children in London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark.

The charity said there are about 780 children in the area with life-limiting conditions who could use it.

Demelza currently runs a residential hospice for children in Kent and East Sussex.

'Urgent help'

The charity said there was no such provision in south London and launched the Capital Appeal last year with Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker and skater Jane Torvill fronting the campaign as patrons of the charity.

Mr Lineker said: "Urgent help is needed for these children now. Help Demelza make the dream come true for hundreds of children and families in south London."

The charity hopes to open the six-bedroom hospice in December 2008.

The building is projected to cost about 5m with the remaining 1.5m needed for running costs in the first year.

Much of the money has come from community fund-raising events, the latest being a sponsored punch by children at Kung Fu Schools in Croydon which raised nearly 7,500.

Alan Paterson, who runs the school, said: "It was great to see the children raising money for other children whose time is so precious."




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