Thanks to supporters of Leeds Hospitals Charity and their generous donations, we have received a £25,000 grant which will support the running of Eckersley House, our ‘Home from Home’ giving families a place to stay when their child is undergoing treatment at Leeds Children’s Hospital.
The £25,000 grant will go towards funding the role of Jane McHale, who has been managing Eckersley House for nearly 15 years. Jane supports families from across Yorkshire and beyond, who have poorly children at Leeds Children’s Hospital and who need to be able to stay close by. Eckersley House has 22 family bedrooms to allow parents to be just a few minutes away from the wards of Leeds Children’s Hospital. It also has communal living rooms, playrooms for siblings and laundry rooms to enable a true ‘Home from Home’. Eckersley House is one of ten ‘Homes from Home’ run by national charity The Sick Children’s Trust, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity has needed additional support to keep Eckersley House open.
Ryan Gowran and Autumn Cayzer, from Scotland, whose daughter Aria was treated recently, stayed at Eckersley House in September 2020. They said Jane and the other staff at Eckersley House went above and beyond to support them:
“When we met Jane, the House Manager, she told us that a room and we were instantly given keys to our ‘Home from Home’. As she showed us around the kitchen, living room and to our bedroom we felt welcomed and a huge relief.
“The great thing about Eckersley House is it feels like it’s your home and you can come and go as you please, but you know there is someone there like Jane to give advice, listen and talk to. This was particularly important on our second admission as the national lockdown happened. It was a really tense time as Aria was at her worst at that point, however it was eased by having Eckersley House as Jane and the team were always on hand to provide support.”
Esther Wakeman, Chief Executive at Leeds Hospitals Charity, said it was a privilege to be able to support the running of Eckersley House: “As the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals, we know our donors want to support patients and families at all of our hospitals. Being far away from home and needing to be close to your poorly child is a situation no parent wants to be in. Eckersley House provides a wonderful service for these families and we’re really proud to be funding part of Jane’s role for this year so she can continue to help the families of our most vulnerable patients, just when they need it the most.”
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust said: “We are incredibly grateful to Leeds Hospitals Charity for this generous donation. Families with children undergoing treatment at Leeds are currently navigating the difficulties that having a seriously ill child in hospital brings, alongside the added pressure of restrictions around the pandemic. Families like Aria’s tell us that having the support of Jane and the team, alongside a private room, at Eckersley House makes significant difference to their wellbeing while they are in hospital.
“2020 was a challenging year, and we expect 2021 to be equally so however we are committed to being there, giving families a place to stay when they need it the most. From all of us at The Sick Children’s Trust we would like to extend our thanks to Leeds Hospitals Charity and its donors for this incredible gift and for their ongoing support over many years.”