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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 10:51 UK
Building work starts on the EACH Treehouse in Ipswich
Graham Butland, Mark Oaten and Melanie Chew from EACH at the new Treehouse site in Ipswich
The team from EACH get to work at the new Treehouse site in Ipswich

There were smiles and celebrations as the foundations of the new Treehouse hospice in Ipswich were put down.

Part of the four acre site, close to St Augustine's Church in Ipswich, has been cleared and the diggers have moved in.

In order to protect the roots of the surrounding woodland, 149 augured piles are being dug down and filled with cement.

"It's been seven years looking for the right piece of land, this is tremendous," said Graham Butland.

The chief executive of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) posed for photographs at the controls of the pile driving machine which towered above the site.

A beautiful site

Graham Butland and Melanie Chew at the new Treehouse site in Ipswich
The pile driver bores a 10m hole then pumps cement down to make a column

The building work is being carried out by Barnes Construction and will take 15 months to complete.

Director Mark Hart said: "The piling goes down to between eight to 10 metres and supports the superstructure of the main building.

"This is quite unique on this site. Ordinarily you would pile a project because the ground isn't suitable at a shallow depth to take the support.

"Here we're trying to minimise the impact on the underlying roots structure," he said.

An inspiring place

For many of the EACH team it was a welcome chance to return to the site.

"It was well over a year ago, we came along for a bit of inspiration," said Melanie Chew, director of fundraising for EACH.

"We wanted a name for the appeal, so me and a couple of colleagues came along to the woodland and had a stomp around.

"We came up with all sorts names like the silver birch appeal, the evergreen appeal, but nothing felt quite right.

"The little wooden cabin they have in the garden [at the EACH bungalow] was the real inspiration because many of the children we care for will never get up into a tree house in a tree, so that's their treehouse.

"We knew it was important to us and we knew we'd like to bring it to the new site, so that was where the name comes from."

Donate now

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To give money, please send a cheque made payable to "EACH Treehouse Appeal" to:

EACH Treehouse Appeal, Epsilon House, West Road, Ipswich, IP3 9FJ

The appeal donation line number is 01473 276116.

Donate online at EACH Treehouse Appeal .


EACH Treehouse Appeal supported by BBC Suffolk EACH Treehouse Appeal
BBC Suffolk is helping East Anglia's Children's Hospices raise the 3million needed to fund a purpose built hospice in Ipswich.
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