Global music star, and local Suffolk resident, Ed Sheeran, sent message of “good luck” to St Elizabeth Hospice for the opening of their new Zest shop on Queen Street in Ipswich which opened to the public in June this year. The Ipswich shop which aims to generate funds to support the care of young adults living with progressive and terminal illnesses across east Anglia is the first of a number planned for the coming year.
A long-time supporter of the hospice through the donations of personal items, Ed sent the message when he was told that some of his recent donations – including the much publicised LEGO ‘Ed head’ and his first record player would be used to support this new brand.
“St Elizabeth Hospice have done great work over the years and I’m really happy to be able to support their new shop. Good luck with raising money for such a good cause.”
Zest, part of the St Elizabeth hospice family, is a new concept in charity retail – with a fresh approach, to helping St Elizabeth Hospice secure support for those young adults across east Anglia who need their care. Zest not only looks to support young adults but also to engage other young adults in helping them provide that support either through donations, volunteering or shopping.
Helen Finlinson, young adult care and transition lead for St Elizabeth told us “It is not widely known that St Elizabeth Hospice already offers care for young adults in Suffolk from the age of 14 and through Zest we are looking to expand our care options to include, in the first instance, supported weekend breaks – a service that is not currently widely available in our region. We are already a centre of excellence in the subject of young adult care and currently share our experience and expertise with other health professionals around the country.”
Rachel Backshall, director of income generation and marketing, added “The needs of these young people are complex and not totally understood because in many cases the challenges their care presents are new; but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rise to the challenge. By raising financial support through Zest we will be looking for the first time to offer hospice care for this age group beyond our traditional hospice geographic boundaries, offering an east Anglian solution. To do this we will also be fundraising further afield as we open more shops, our next is planned for Colchester in the coming months, and offer events in support of Zest such as ‘Bubble Rush’ in Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds on July 29.”
Rachel continued “Ed’s support of the hospice is greatly appreciated. Whenever he has donated items it has not only generated much needed funds for the vital work of the hospice but also helped us explain to people about what the hospice does. Yes we do help people at the end of life but the majority of our work is about ensuring that people are able to maximise the life they have left available to them- this can often be over a number of years. As we say we “don’t let death kill life”. In the coming weeks we hope to be able to spread that message further as we announce the details of an exciting auction of items that Ed has recently donated to us including the LEGO head self-portrait that he created. We know this will generate great interest not only locally, but regionally, nationally and perhaps even internationally and we will ensure we use the opportunity to spread the message of Zest and the hospice. ”
The shop was opened by St Elizabeth Hospice young trustee Eli Sanyari and Josh Margereson a young adult St Elizabeth Hospice currently cares for.