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Page last updated at 06:37 GMT, Thursday, 9 December 2010
EACH Treehouse Appeal reaches 2m
Melanie Chew, Paul Rea, Joseph Rea and Helen Rea
Melanie Chew and the Rea family celebrate reaching 2m

East Anglia's Children's Hospices is celebrating reaching the £2m mark in its fundraising campaign for a new hospice in Ipswich.

BBC Suffolk is supporting the EACH Treehouse Appeal, which will benefit life-limited children in Suffolk and north Essex.

The appeal began in March and aims to raise £3m.

"We would like to thank absolutely everyone who has helped us attain this figure," said Melanie Chew, EACH.

"Individuals, groups and businesses have dedicated a lot of time and effort to fundraise for the appeal and have proved that funds can be raised - even in difficult financial times.

"Although today is a cause for celebration, we mustn't forget that we need to raise a total of £3m."

Helen and Paul Rea's son Joseph has cerebral palsy and is being cared for by EACH.

"It's amazing to think that in the few short months we've gone from nothing," said Mr Rea.

"It shows how generous people are and everyone's come together to make it happen."

Mrs Rea said the news was an early Christmas present.

"No one could think that we could get to this figure by Christmas, it's incredible," said Mrs Rea.

"Christmas is such a special time for us. All of our children are on loan to us - we never know when they're going to be snatched back.

"We have to make the most of every day. We never know if we're going to get through a Christmas day without a mad dash to hospital, so we savour every moment we have together."

EACH support

The Middleton family also welcomed the news of the £2m landmark being reached.

Cheryl, Charlie and Robin Middleton
Cheryl says Charlie will enjoy the new hydrotherapy pool

Cheryl and Robin receive support for their 3-year-old son Charlie.

"Charlie was born severely brain damaged," said Mrs Middleton. "It was very apparent from early on that he was going to be severely disabled.

"He has a lot of seizures and he can't really move - he's completely dependent on us for care."

The couple say they have been amazed at the level of care provided by EACH, and by the generosity of the public.

"I'm completely overwhelmed by the help," said Mrs Middleton. "People we don't know are willing to give their time and money for families like us. It makes such a big difference."

The new hospice will be able to care for twice as many families as the old building does and will have several purpose-built rooms, such as a music room, family quarters and private bereavement areas.

"I can't wait to get in to the new building," said Mrs Middleton. "Charlie can enjoy the hydrotherapy pool - he'll love that.

"The pool enables him to move freely. When we went swimming recently he found his feet on the bottom of the pool - his little face lit up.

"He can hold his head better because he does get really tight muscles and gets very uncomfortable.

"It's not something we can do on a regular basis."

Donate now

To give money to the Treehouse Appeal, 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 .

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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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BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy Mark Murphy and Kevin Burch report on the Treehouse Appeal launch

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