Sudbury-based charity the Eden-Rose Coppice Trust has been named as the winner of a £150,000 transformation project, allowing it to make a dream become reality.
The Sudbury charity’s building for cancer sufferers is to be built in its new site in Ipswich and was chosen as part of the Jewson Building Better Communities competition.
The charity and palliative care provider will benefit from a new indoor space, which will be created using the Saint-Gobain ‘My Comfort’ building principles. This approach is about creating buildings that are good for people and for the environment.
The building will provide an environmentally friendly indoor space for cancer sufferers to enjoy the woodland retreat in all weathers.
Rob Brooks, founder of the Eden-Rose Coppice Trust, said: “It was quite emotional in a way. Everybody involved in the Brickmakers’ Wood project is absolutely thrilled to win the Building Better Communities competition.
“Just being nominated had already helped spread the word about our charity, and to go all the way and win the grand prize is simply unbelievable.
“The prize from Jewson will help make the design of our late friend, Clive Butcher, into a reality and help bring nature closer to those who need it most. Once completed, Clive’s building will be an icon for Suffolk and make a huge difference to the lives of those in our community.”
Mr Brooks was surprised the charity was chosen but said regardless he was determined that Mr Butcher’s dream would have become reality eventually.
The Building Better Communities competition was launched in March 2016, and saw more than 1,800 community projects nominated, narrowed down to a shortlist of 59.
“Our chances of winning were a long shot but we had a very strong application so we knew we had a small chance but we are absolutely gobsmacked,” said Mr Brooks.
The shortlist was then put to a public vote with the decision decided by these votes and by judges,
Jewson announced The Eden-Rose Coppice Trust as the winner of the main prize, alongside 27 regional winners, who will receive anything from £1,000 to £6,000 to spend on building materials.
The Eden-Rose Coppice Trust joined other winners at an awards ceremony in Nottingham, where television presenter Sarah Beeny presented the prizes.
David Fenton, marketing director at Jewson, said: “The Eden-Rose Coppice Trust has a fantastic approach to healing. The all-weather woodland facility the charity is creating will further help those with serious and debilitating illnesses escape from the modern world and embrace the beauty of nature and its recuperative effects.”
The charity is now putting out a call to arms for a friends group to be set up.
Mr Brooks said: “The £150,000 is a huge contribution towards the building in Ipswich but we still have to raise funds for the wheelchair friendly footpaths leading to it and more.
“Sudbury itself, as a centre, needs urgent funds to support our children with profound learning difficulties along with our urgently needed rebuilding of our emergency wheelchair escape bridge.”