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Helping Each helps others

PUBLISHED: 10:07 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 21:57 07 July 2010

AMATEURS, experts and everyone in between are encouraged to take part in a sponsored cycle ride in aid of life-threatened youngsters and their families.

AMATEURS, experts and everyone in between are encouraged to take part in a sponsored cycle ride in aid of life-threatened youngsters and their families.

Scores of people every year are supported by East Anglia's Children's Hospice (Each) and in May, cyclists will have the chance to raise funds for the charity by taking part in the annual EDP Ride for Life.

The Jay family, of Hannah Close in Sheringham, were just one such family who turned to Each when their baby son Alfie died on Christmas Eve, 2008. They also have an eight-year-old daughter Chloe.

Mrs Jay gave birth after only 28 weeks by emergency caesarean at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) to twin sons Alfie and Ellis.

Doctors had discovered the twins had a discordant growth, meaning Ellis was very small and not growing like he should.

Both babies were given emergency care but suffered heart attacks and Alfie sadly died. Ellis, now 13 months, was taken home almost five months later and, until nine weeks ago, required daily oxygen at home.

Mrs Jay, 36, who owns her own cleaning business, said that with the support of Each workers, Anne and Michelle, the family had created memory boxes of Alfie including photos and casts of his hands and feet, and were planning to attend a bereavement support group in Dereham.

She added: “Without Each I think we would have cracked up. Their care and support has helped us through what has been an incredibly difficult time for us.

“Each has helped Chloe to understand what's going on and to express how she feels. Chloe has made a book about Alfie and it has been put up on a board at the hospital so other families can see it. She feels incredibly proud. She hasn't been to sibling support groups yet, but she wants to when she is ready.

“One of the most uplifting experiences we have had since Alfie died, was going to the Each memory day. We got to write messages to Alfie which we attached to balloons and then let go. Other families were there too and it made us realise we weren't alone.”

Each, which relies mainly on public funding, provides care and support for children and their families in their own homes, as well as at the charity's hospices in Quidenham in Norfolk, Milton in Cambridgeshire and Ipswich in Suffolk.

All the money raised at this year's Ride for Life, at Santon Downham in Thetford Forest, on May 16, will go towards helping families in similar positions.

This year also sees the launch of the virtual ride for life which will take place at gyms and leisure centres across East Anglia and will see individuals or teams sponsored to walk or cycle the distances at the actual event.

….at Each, added: “

For regular updates in the EDP Ride for Life, read the Eastern Daily Press, or visit the website at www.edp2.co.uk.

Each is a registered charity which supports families who care for children with life-threatening conditions and complex healthcare needs.

It provides care and support for children and their families in their own homes, as well as at the charity's hospices in Quidenham in Norfolk, Milton in Cambridgeshire and Ipswich in Suffolk, and relies on public support for the majority of its required income, about £5.8m per year.

Services include end of life care and bereavement support, as well as specialist play and music therapy, and more practical help, advice and information, including a 24-hour telephone support and advice. EACH also holds annual memory days.

People can take part in a variety of cycle rides at this year's EDP Ride for Life event, ranging from 10 to 35 miles. For those who prefer to raise money on two feet rather than on a saddle there will also be three and nine-mile walking routes available.

Scores of people are expected to turn out to the event at Santon Downham in Thetford Forest, on May 16, and entry fees are;

Cyclists - adults, £10; children 16 years and under, £5; family ticket (maximum of two adults and two children aged 16 and under), £18; team (minimum of four adults), £8 per person.

Walkers - adults, £6; children from five to 16, £4; children under five, free.

Discounted fees are available by entering online at www.each.org,uk/rideforlife.

For more information about Each, visit the website at www.each.org.uk, or call 01223 205180.


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