GeeWizz is a very special, small charity based in Bury St Edmunds, with it's foundation based upon transparent giving. Their founder Gina Long MBE, has raised over £5,000,000 working passionately as a volunteer. GeeWizz support's children and young adults in Suffolk and Norfolk, who sadly suffer from life-threatening conditions, a disability or cancer. They fund life-changing bespoke, very specialist, equipment for children, and young adults, along with supporting their families. More recently they have funded purchasing specialist or sensory equipment for SEN departments at schools and colleges throughout the community. GeeWizz literally helps change many lives every day.
Part of St Elizabeth Hospice, Zest is a pioneering hospice service supporting young adults aged 14 and upwards with incurable and life limiting illnesses. Zest ensures they get the specialist care, tailored treatment and services they need to be able to enjoy life to the full. As well as supporting young people medically and socially, with activities and short breaks, Zest also supports family members to be just that – mums, dads, brothers and sisters.
Where our Legacy Auction funds raised are going
We are celebrating the culmination of the highly acclaimed Ed Sheeran: Made In Suffolk Exhibition and the county’s special connection with artistic creativity and heritage. The underlining purpose is to leave a lasting legacy from the exhibition by supporting children and young people with special educational needs and progressive and terminal illness through two beneficiary charities, GeeWizz Charity and Zest.
Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction will raise crucial funds to redevelop a much-needed playground at the Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy in Ipswich. The pupils at the school are aged 3-16 with physical, medical and/or sensory needs and associated learning difficulties. Many are wheelchair users and cannot currently access their playground at all. There are students who come from outside of Ipswich attending the school.
It’s expected to cost over £250,000, of which GeeWizz will be funding £200,000, including Guy Nicholls of Tru7 Group generous donation of £100,000. We are receiving a lot of manpower, resources and materials in kind or at reduced prices which are all helping to fund this project within this budget. All funds raised over and above will be invested across all of Suffolk to fund several smaller projects, contributing to changing many local lives.
Zest will use the proceeds from the auction and other donations to fund a specialist nursing team, including learning disability and palliative care nurses and physiotherapists, to work with young adults and support them to minimise the impact of their conditions and maximise their potential.
As well as providing specialist medical care, this pioneering services enables young adults with challenging conditions to fulfil their aspirations, whether this is to manage their symptoms, access opportunities in the community, and reduce loneliness by enabling them to meet and have fun with friends.