Fundraising News: 'Babe' backs children's hospice campaign

Joe Gill

Children's Hospice South West began an appeal this week for £15m to build and equip a new care centre for sick children and their families near Bristol.

'Babe's Big Appeal' enlisted the help of local author Dick King-Smith, who agreed that his character Babe the pig, made famous in the eponymous film, could be used for the appeal.

More than £4.4m has already been raised for the project, with events in the South West naming the charity as beneficiary, including the Bristol Hot Air Balloon Festival, and the Bath & West Show.

Local 'friends groups' are organising a range of fundraising events, with Radio Bristol already collecting £250,000 toward a planned £1m for the appeal.

"There is little available statutory funding for children's hospices, so we are almost totally dependent on the generosity of the public," said hospice executive director Jill Farwell, who set up the charity with husband Eddie .

"Although the centre will be near Bristol, we are very keen to involve the whole of the South West in fundraising activities."

Charlton Farm, a Grade II-listed farmhouse on the Tyntesfield Estate, will be restored as the new centre, and will eventually look after about 200 children and their families each year. The charity currently runs the only existing hospice for children in Devon.

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