People urged to support Norfolk children's hospice

Emma KnightsPeople are being urged to help a children's charity continue to give vital care to sick children and their families.Emma Knights

People are being urged to help a children's charity continue to give vital care to sick children and their families.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), which looks after life-threatened children and has a centre in Quidenham, has said income from its charity shops is continuing to rise due to its expanding network of stores, and is asking people to boost fundraising further by donating more goods, including good quality clothes, bric-a-brac and DVDs.

The call comes after Oxfam announced donations to its shops had fallen by 15pc over the past 12 months.

'Retail is an incredibly valuable income stream for EACH, which continues to grow, and we are incredibly grateful to our supporters who donate goods,' said Trevor Bailey, head of EACH retail.


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'I would like to encourage people, if they don't already do so, to donate their unwanted goods to EACH, to allow us to continue to provide vital care and support to life-threatened children and their families.'

EACH has a required annual income of �5.8 million. It is expecting its retail sales for the financial year March 2009 until March 2010 to reach �850,000, compared with �640,000 in 2008-09 and �556,000 in 2007-08.

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It currently has 10 stores including ones in Long Stratton, Wymondham and Lowestoft.

People can donate anything from good quality clothing to books to bicycles to televisions. To arrange for larger items to be collected by EACH, call Karen Boxall on 01842 821620 or email karen.boxall@each.org.uk

For more information about EACH visit www.each.org.uk or call 01223 205180.

Are you doing something unusual to raise money for a charity. Call reporter Emma Knights on 01362 854703.

When Amanda and Luke Lawes' fourth child, Mason, was born in January 2008 they had just a few hours with their tiny son.

Mason was born severely brain damaged and for his short life was kept alive by machines.

Mrs Lawes, from Watton, said: 'It was absolutely heart-wrenching, never more so than when we had to tell his brother and sisters.

'I held our baby boy in my arms while they all came to say hello and goodbye at the same time.'

Mrs Lawes said EACH has been an enormous support - from making cast moulds of Mason's hands and feet to inviting the family to a memory day with other bereaved families. Mason's brother and sisters, Justina, 18, Nathan, 14, and Amelia, eight, have joined the EACH Sibling Group and have received individual bereavement support at home, while Mr and Mrs Lawes, 37 and 35, have been able to meet other parents in similar situations.

'With the help of EACH, Luke and I can release our feelings as a couple and be told it's normal to feel how we feel. It gives us the strength and energy to move forward, together. As every month goes by we feel the strength to carry on and cope with the heartache we have without our baby boy,' said Mrs Lawes.

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