The Sick Children’s Trust which supports families with seriously ill children in hospital with a place to stay has launched an emergency appeal to raise vital funds to continue to keep families together.
During these unprecedented and uncertain times, the charity which receives no government funding needs the public’s support now more than ever. It costs £2.2million to run The Sick Children’s Trust’s ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country and the charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to meet this cost. With events being cancelled and the charity’s valued supporters not being able to fundraise in their usual way, The Sick Children’s Trust needs your support now more than ever.
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust, said:
“It is a worrying and uncertain time for everyone and there are many challenges we are all facing but for families with seriously ill child in hospital there is even more worry and uncertainty.
“Our families tell us that when their child is in hospital there is an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. They can’t do anything to improve their child’s condition but what they can do is be there for them because of our ‘Homes from Home’.
“The reality of the coronavirus for the families we support is that they may not even be able to do that. To be there for their child in their time of need unless people like you donate to keep our houses running.”
A couple from Darlington, Terry and Allan, supported by the charity last year have spoken about the importance of being able to stay together while their son, Seb, was in hospital. Seb was rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary when he became seriously ill with a rare condition where his umbilical cord had remained and wrapped itself around his bowel. For ten days, Seb was in a critical condition but during this time his parents, alongside his sisters, were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House. Terry said:
“The enormity of the situation weighed heavily on both me and Allan. We were in shock that our son was nearly taken from us in a sudden turn of events. Everything so precious was hanging by a thread. We didn’t want to leave Seb’s side because of this, because we were petrified about his second surgery. We were on eggshells that something terrible would happen.
“48 hours after we first took Seb to hospital we were told about Crawford House run by The Sick Children’s Trust. It was just a few minutes’ walk from Seb’s ward where we could go and rest. Having a place to stay went a long way after sleepless nights and exhausting days on the wards.
“Allan and I have worked all of our lives and we honestly never thought we’d need charity but the reality is that a child becoming seriously ill can take anybody by surprise and there’s no time to plan.”
The Sick Children’s Trust supports around 3,500 families every year by giving families a place to stay. Jane Featherstone added:
“The Sick Children’s Trust can continue to be there for families with sick children in hospital like Seb’s but we can’t do it alone. Without vital donations we cannot do this. With your kind donation, we can be there so that families can be together. We want to give them a safe place to stay close to their child. £30 is what it takes but any amount you can give will greatly help.”