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VIDEO: Work Starts On Holiday Centre For Sick Children

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7:27am 5th January 2015
(Updated 7:27am 5th January 2015)

Work starts on a holiday centre for sick children in Cornwall.

Builders are moving onto the site of Ellie's Haven near Looe - exactly three years since she died, just weeks before her seventh birthday.

Her parents have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help families of other children suffering long-term or life-limiting illnesses.

"It's a poignant date for us because it will be three years to the day since Ellie passed away," said Nigel Libby, who founded the charity with his wife, Julie seven years ago.

Ellie, Nigel and Julie's daughter, had complex medical conditions and died a few weeks before her seventh birthday. Their son Thomas had similar problems and had died when he was fourteen months old.

The building work includes a circular lounge with a cone-shaped rood, a new entrance area, reconfiguring the inside and converting a workshop into a sensory room.

Ellie's Haven has raised almost £683,000 to date. £387,500 went on purchasing the property in the Looe valley while building work will cost another £280,000. But there will be other costs to come - including the equipment for the sensory room and sensory garden.

Peter Heywood, one of the charity's trustees said: "Our big breakthrough on the fundraising front happened when an anonymous donor pledged £100,000 in match-funding for the building works."

A large chunk of the funds has been raised by hundreds of local supporters making donations, staging events and taking on sponsored challenges.

"We are so grateful for the support we've received," said Nigel. "It's been amazing. And it's fantastic that we are finally in a position where we can demonstrate that all the effort over so many years will now bear fruit."

The building work is scheduled to be completed in August.

7:27am 5th January 2015

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