A children’s hospice was aglow with Christmas spirit after hosting two eagerly-anticipated Winter Wonderland events.
Staff at The Treehouse organised an event specifically for families receiving care and support from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Then, the following day, there was a separate session open to the public.
Both were well attended, with visitors able to enjoy a host of festive treats, including the opportunity to meet Father Christmas.
Nearly 200 family members, including siblings, parents and grandparents, came along for the first Winter Wonderland.
In addition to visiting Santa’s grotto, they were able to stroke donkeys, toast marshmallows, enjoy treats including mince pies and hot chocolate and take part in Christmas crafts.
The Salvation Army band was in attendance, playing festive favourites, while families were able to make incredible and hugely popular reindeer, thanks to the help of volunteers from the Ipswich Wildlife Group.
“We had a wonderful time,” said EACH Groups and Events Coordinator Lucy Hynes.
“After heavy rain in the morning, the conditions couldn’t have been better and it was certainly milder than last year.
“It’s always such a pleasure organising this event and it’s definitely a key date in our calendar.
“The atmosphere was lovely and it was a joy to see so many smiling faces, enjoying our beautiful grounds while getting in the Christmas spirit.”
The following day, around 350 members of the public took the opportunity to explore the beautifully-lit gardens.
Although entry was free, money generously donated in collection buckets raised more than £2,800.
“It’s the second year we’ve held a public Winter Wonderland, giving people an opportunity to see our lights and find out more about The Treehouse,” said Senior Community Fundraiser Ali Butler.
“Once again, the response was incredibly positive and we were delighted by the turnout, not to mention generous donations.
“It’s a great way to engage with the community and we’re very proud of our beautiful hospice and gardens. This is a perfect way to showcase them.”
The public Winter Wonderland was sponsored by LV General Insurance. Two members of staff gave up their time to volunteer and help out on the day.
Stunning uplights were provided by TM Services while BT Network Test team volunteers put up thousands of fairy lights. There was live music on both days from the Limelight Choir and the PA system was provided by JLA Light and Sound.
The first Winter Wonderland event took place on 9th December and the second on the 10th.
Pictures: Leo Martin/EACH