A couple who has helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for a charity that supports people with life-limiting illnesses are retiring after clocking up nearly 45 years’ service between them.

Ted and Jane Edwards will step down as trustees of Halesworth-based Pear Tree Fund at the end of this month.

Mrs Edwards set up the charity in 1989 alongside fellow district nurses Nikki Sawkins and Barbara Kell after recognising that the families of patients who wished to die at home needed extra support.

Originally called the Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund, it provided additional care in the last days of life so that people could die in the place of their choice.

The charity expanded in 2020 when it opened the Pear Tree Centre, on land next to Cutlers Hill Surgery, which offers information, support and advice to patients with a life-changing diagnosis, as well as their families.

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Mrs Edwards said: “We have created a really lovely space which encourages people to relax. It really does provide a very special, calm and welcoming atmosphere.

Beccles & Bungay Journal:  Ted and Jane Edwards Picture: Zenith Public Relations Ted and Jane Edwards Picture: Zenith Public Relations (Image: Zenith Public Relations)

“I have also loved working with the most wonderful set of trustees and staff."

Mr Edwards joined the trustees in 2012 after retiring from his job as an accountant.

After developing a business case for the Pear Tree Centre, he became the project's chair.

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He said: “Looking back, I feel great pride that I have been a part of developing such an attractive and much-praised building."

“I’m also proud that Halesworth and the surrounding area now has a facility which is proving itself to be such a boon for local people.

“It makes me very proud to have been involved in achieving so much and building so many friendships along the way. The trustees all deserve a big pat on the back for a job well done.”

For more information about the Pear Tree Fund or to support the charity, visit www.peartreefund.org