‘Grateful for every penny’ Pear Tree project thanks community as centre nears completion

Former nurses Nikki Sawkins, Barbara Kell and Jane Edwards at the Pear Tree Centre sitePicture: Sara

Former nurses Nikki Sawkins, Barbara Kell and Jane Edwards at the Pear Tree Centre sitePicture: Sarah Patchett - Credit: Archant

Work on a much needed centre for people with life-limiting illnesses is nearing completion, with chairs thanking the community for donations and support.

The Pear Tree Centre in Halesworth will be an information centre and area to offer family services and advice on finance and benefits, as well as understanding of a terminal diagnosis and coping with bereavement.

The centre, which will sit next to the Cutlers Hill surgery in Halesworth, was initially planned 18 months ago.

Work began on the £880,000 site lead by the Pear Tree Fund charity in January.

Now, as the major work has finished, those behind the project are thanking the community for their support which should see the centre supporting families later this year.

Ted Edwards, co-chair of the Pear Tree Centre project, said: "We are absolutely delighted that work on this fantastic community resource has progressed so quickly. The building is now completely water-tight, while we can clearly see the shape and size of the meeting space, counselling rooms and therapy areas.

"Once open, the centre will provide a huge variety of support and resources for people with cancer and other life-limiting illness from across north east Suffolk and south Norfolk, as well as their families and carers.

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"This simply would not have been possible without the fantastic help of both our local community and national charitable trusts. We are incredibly grateful for every penny we have received and would like to once again thank everyone who has supported the project so far."

The building is now being fitted out and decorated, with builders plastering internal walls and installing electricity and water.

The charity aims to welcome its first patients by the end of the year and begin providing information, support, counselling and other services to those who need it.

It will serve around 50,000 people who live within a 15-mile radius of Halesworth, including Beccles, Bungay, Saxmundham and Southwold.

The Pear Tree Fund is now raising money towards the centre's projected annual running costs of around £140,000 a year. To find out more about the centre and how you could support the charity, visit www.peartreefund.org