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Weekly helps raise £50,000 in just three months

The Surrey Advertiser has helped raise more than £50,000 in just three months for a local charity which provides overnight and day care for disabled children.

The Advertiser is backing the Cherry Trees charity’s Upstairs Appeal – which aims to raise £150,000 to convert a building into staff accommodation to facilitate the supervision of children.

The paper has supported the appeal by running copy and inviting readers and businesses to make donations and contact it with fundraising ideas – the best of which it helps organise and photograph.

News editor Matt Burrows said: “The Appeal has exceeded all our expectations, and the target date of Christmas now looks far less challenging thanks to the ongoing support of readers, the community and of course, the charity.

“Donations have come in from everywhere; readers, local businesses – we even had one couple who forfeited presents for their Golden Wedding, instead asking that all monies are sent to the Appeal, and a woman who did her ironing on the roof of a bus to raise cash. People literally seem to have pulled out all the stops.

“It’s also given us the chance to build a few bridges between different sectors of the community – for instance we’ve got the business community working closely with Cherry Trees which, when you consider the strength of the financial sector in Surrey, is a massive boost.

“It’s a genuinely local charity, run by genuine people who want to give something to their local community – and that’s what regional newspapers should be about.

“This response has proved that people do still react to good news, and react with just as much vigour as they do when they are infuriated by a news item.”

Matt has vowed to do a bungee jump for the appeal, although the date has not yet been set.

The new accommodation at Cherry Trees, which was left in a will to the charity by a benefactor, will provide an extra 1,344 specially equipped overnight places every year.

A computer room and amenity room are also planned as well as a lift to carry the children upstairs.

The Guildford-based charity looks after disabled children in order to allow their parents time off to do other things.

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