A children’s hospice sparkled with Christmas cheer after being lit and decorated for special Winter Wonderland events.
The East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) base at Milton hosted two eye-catching events – one especially for families being supported by the charity and another open to the public.
Both gave people an opportunity to see and enjoy the hospice’s stunning outdoor lights, as well as visiting Father Christmas’ grotto.
The first Winter Wonderland, for service users, parents/carers and siblings, in addition to staff families, was attended by 152 people on Saturday, 9th December.
“Everyone had a wonderful time,” said EACH Groups and Events Coordinator Joely Allard.
“They were greeted by cheeky elves, petted miniature donkeys, marvelled at our illuminated sensory gardens, sang along with our live band (Max Headroom), enjoyed festive snacks and met Father Christmas.
“The feedback has been lovely, with people describing it as amazing, beautiful and magical, as well as commenting on the warm, joyful atmosphere. One person said how much they appreciated the attention to detail.
“We couldn’t have been happier and were particularly grateful to receive a generous grant from Together for Short Lives, which enabled us to buy some large Christmas lights.
“They look amazing on our front lawn and we’re very thankful for the support.”
Joely also thanked EACH lead administrator Deborah Watts, who coordinated the lights and led a team of “amazing” volunteers in creating the “masterpiece”.
She also praised the catering team for delivered warm sausage rolls, mince pies and hot chocolates to families throughout the evening.
The following day, the general public were invited to a separate Winter Wonderland at Milton.
More than 180 people came along and the event, organised to give the public an insight and spread awareness of the work EACH does, raised nearly £1,000. It was kindly sponsored by Recipharm.
Community Fundraiser Helena Davis said: “We had a great time and all the children who attended got the chance to meet Santa.
“Visitors also got to listen to a range of music from local choirs and soloists throughout the night, while enjoying a mince pie.
“So much credit has to go to our amazing maintenance staff and volunteers for their incredible hard work.
“The planning and preparation went on for weeks and the lights look truly stunning. We’re very grateful for everything they’ve done.”