08:02AM, Friday 03 January 2014
The Advertiser is sounding a rallying call for the public to join a £5m fundraising drive to see Maidenhead become home to the first children’s hospice in Berkshire.
We are launching the Together We Can Build It campaign to support the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service mission to build the desperately needed facility in Woodlands Park.
The charity kick-started its £5m capital project to fund the scheme in November.
We are now joining the drive – and urging readers to do the same.
The plan is to start work on the site in Snowball Hill within a year and raise the money within two.
About £300,000 has already been raised since November with several donors coming forward to sponsor individual rooms.
Determined parents John and Fiona Devine are the driving force behind the mission.
They lost their son Alexander at the age of eight to a rare brain tumour.
The family, from Dedworth, were forced to travel huge distances for help and support at specialist hospices and vowed to honour their brave boy’s memory by creating a caring and warm environment in Berkshire suitable for other seriously ill children from the county.
Chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson and Theresa May MP are among patrons backing the charity.
The Together We Can Build It campaign has been launched by the Advertiser and its sister papers The Slough & South Bucks Express and the Windsor and Eton Express.
“There is a real and pressing need for a children’s hospice in Berkshire,” said deputy editor Glenn Mitchell. “How can anyone stand by and do nothing about such an important issue?”
Over the coming months, our newspapers will profile people supporting the charity and highlight the fundraising efforts held.
Fiona said: “I am absolutely delighted and thrilled at the prospect of working with the Advertiser and to have all of you at the newspaper playing a part in the giving process as you have from the start.
“We are starting the next chapter of the campaign, taking the next big step towards our goal.
“The new hospice will be at the heart of the community. It will be a place of love and laughter although of course there will be tears as well. But we want it to be a real hub of the community.”
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).
A teenager who died after getting into difficulty in the Jubilee River has been described as a ‘gentle giant’ in a tribute from his school.