AddThis SmartLayers

Sister titles launch £5m hospice campaign

A weekly newspaper and its sister titles have launched a £5m fundraising campaign so a new children’s hospice can be built in the area.

The Maidenhead Advertiser has issued a rallying call to its readers to help the town become home to the first children’s hospice in Berkshire.

The Together We Can Build It campaign is supporting the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service charity’s mission to build the desperately needed facility at Woodlands Park in Maidenhead.

Alexander Devine died from a rare brain tumour at the age of eight and his parents John and Fiona are the driving force behind the mission.

They 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.

Advertiser deputy editor Glenn Mitchell said: “There is a real and pressing need for a children’s hospice in Berkshire. How can anyone stand by and do nothing about such an important issue?”

Maidenhead Advertiser deputy editor Glenn Mitchell, left, with Fiona Devine, centre, and news editor Nicola Hine, right.

The Advertiser’s sister papers, The Slough & South Bucks Express and the Windsor and Eton Express, are also backing the project which the charity launched in November.

Around £300,000 has already been raised for the buiding but the newspapers will now drive the campaign forward by profiling people supporting the charity and highlighting the ongoing fundraising efforts.

The plan is to start work on the site in Snowball Hill within a year and raise the money within two.

“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,” Fiona told the Maidenhead Advertiser.

“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.”

Chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson and Theresa May MP are among patrons backing the charity.