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Attleborough couple who started Quidenham hospice reminisce as building starts for new £10m EACH nook hospice

PUBLISHED: 06:03 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:09 17 November 2017

Ann and Roger Kerrison, who have volunteered for EACH for 28 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ann and Roger Kerrison, who have volunteered for EACH for 28 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Work has started on the £10m EACH nook hospice in Framingham Earl, which will replace Quidenham. Sophie Wyllie spoke to a couple who helped set it up.

EACH Quidenham Hospice, which needs it's planned £10m new base as the staff work in cramped conditions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEACH Quidenham Hospice, which needs it's planned £10m new base as the staff work in cramped conditions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

They have seen advances in medical equipment and treatments over their 28 years as dedicated volunteers at the EACH Quidenham hospice.

And as building work started on the new nook hospice, Ann and Roger Kerrison from Attleborough, have praised Quidenham as a “happy place”.

Mr and Mrs Kerrison, 82 and 76, were part of the original nine people who started developing the hospice in 1989.

It was the fifth children’s hospice in the world when it opened in 1991 and was established in a former religious retreat.

The couple became involved after retiring in the late 1980s from their leading roles at St Mary’s Residential and Nursing Home in New Buckenham.

Mrs Kerrison, a former nurse, who grew up in New Buckenham, said: “When we heard about the hospice, we thought it would keep our grey matter going.

The logo for the nook appealThe logo for the nook appeal

“Quidenham is not a sad place. You go in and have to be positive about things. I have got a lot out of helping at Quidenham. You see the children achieve things which is incredible. All children are special but the children at Quidenham are extra special. We have lots of happy memories of things that have happened in that building. We are all there for the children.”

Her husband of 53 years, who grew up in Carleton Rode and who previously worked in the accounts department at Norwich’s Jarrold Printing hub, said: “Originally we started out doing two hours a week at Quidenham but it was anything but that in the end. We get a lot of pleasure from helping out.”

They originally helped find equipment for the hospice, including cots and a new kitchen.

But as well as helping kit out the building, they have been integral in fundraising through coffee mornings and tin collections, giving talks on the hospice, and supporting the families and children helped by the hospice as well as staff.

By their 50th wedding anniversary they had personally raised £50,000 for EACH and Quidenham, which was originally an independent charity.

It joined up with the Milton hospice in 1998 when EACH was formed.

“It is wonderful Quidenham has progressed. EACH has outgrown it though. The new hospice is going to absolutely magical,” Mrs Kerrison added.

History of Quidenham hospice and EACH nook appeal

1991 – Quidenham hospice opens to children and young people across East Anglia.

1998 - East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is formed after Quidengham joined forces with the Cambridgeshire Milton hospice.

2007 – Quidenham helps develop a pioneering end of life pathway which is used when a child stops receiving active treatment and is transferred to home or a hospice.

2010 – EACH secures a grant from the True Colours Trust to create a 24/7 symptom management service.

2010 – Redevelopment of Quidenham to create space for a music therapy room - a small multi-purpose room that includes soft play. 2012 – EACH announces HRH the Duchess of Cambridge as Royal Patron. 2014 – The nook appeal is launched on November 25 by the Duchess of Cambridge.

2015 – The nook appeal total hits £2m. 2016 – The nook appeal total hits £5m.

How to support the nook appeal

From buying a Christmas decoration to a virtual brick - there are many ways to support the nook appeal.

■The nook friends group - The volunteer fundraising group wants people to save loose change in collection boxes this winter. Contact Judith Sykes on 01508 494873 or email judyannsykes@btinternet.com.

■Buy a brick - People can buy a brick for £20, £100, £500 or £1,000 in memory of a loved one for a virtual wall. Visit www.each.org.uk/buyabrick

■My £10 challenge - People can give up something that will save £10. Participants need to photograph themselves showing how they saved the money, sharing it on social media via #My10pound and donating via www.each.org.uk or by texting NOOK10 £10 to 70070.

■EACH Butterfly baubles - Intu Chapelfield in Norwich is selling 2,017 baubles for £30 or £35.

■To help with any form of fundraising call 01953 666767 or email norfolk@each.org.uk.

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