A Derbyshire family have raise an incredible £236,600 for The Sick Children’s Trust to thank the charity for giving them a place to stay when their son suddenly became seriously ill in 2009.
Over the last decade, Marcus and Laura Leverton, from Walton, have held black-tie events to raise much needed funds for The Sick Children’s Trust. The charity, which gives families with a seriously ill child in hospital a warm and comfortable place to stay and friendly ear to listen, supported the couple in 2009 when their son, Harry, was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The couple were given a place to stay at the charity’s ‘Home from Home’ Treetop House, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, free of charge. This meant they could be by their son’s side within minutes, rather than facing an agonising 40 minute drive. To thank the charity, in 2010 Marcus organised ‘The Leverton Ball’ to raise two thousand pounds. Ten years on, the event has become bi-annual which has raised enough money to give 7,887 families with a child in hospital a place to stay. Marcus said:
“The Sick Children’s Trust was a shining light in a very dark time. Our room at Treetop House was a quiet little sanctuary to gather our thoughts, have a cry, get some sleep, and have a shower and gain that little bit more strength that my baby boy required from his parent before heading back to his bedside. How can you put a value on such a fundamentally necessary facility that The Sick Children’s Trust provide?
“Our story is one of with a positive ending although at the time we were being prepared for a very different outcome. Harry fought off the three viral infections and the non-related bowel perforation to fully recover and is now a football-crazy 12 year old. I made a promise when Harry was in surgery that if he came back to me I would do something to help The Sick Children’s Trust, something to somehow repay my gratitude to the charity and help others.
“I had no idea if there would be an appetite for my event but fast forward ten years it has grown in to a bi-annual event. Harry and Samuel, his younger brother, are now instrumental in the success of these events and they want to be involved as they understand the importance of the charity and its need for funding so it can continue to exist. We’re so proud that, as a family, we have been able to support The Sick Children’s Trust over the years with the help and generosity of our family, friends and the local community raising a staggering £236,599.62.
“We are really looking forward to continuing with our fundraising efforts going forward and are so very grateful to all of The Sick Children’s Trust team for their hard work and dedication supporting families in need.”
As a new decade begins, The Sick Children’s Trust is focusing on supporting even more families with seriously ill children in hospital with a place to stay and friendly ear to listen. Over the last ten years, the charity has supported 33,749 families across its ten ‘Homes from Home’ which has been possible because of supporters like the Leverton family whose fundraising efforts go directly towards covering the running costs of the charity’s ‘Homes from Home’. Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of The Sick Children’s Trust, said:
“We are so incredibly lucky to have the Leverton family as our supporters. The money that they have raised over the last decade has been phenomenal and has made a difference to thousands of families who have found themselves in a hospital with their child, far away from home.
“Hospital can be a lonely and scary place for anyone, but especially a child. By providing families with somewhere to stay together just minutes from their loved one means they have one less thing to worry about. This is something we have been able to do for over 33,000 families in the last ten years with thanks to incredible people like Marcus, Laura, Harry and Samuel. For that we cannot say a big enough thank you.
“This month marks the start of a new decade, and as a charity we will continue to be there for families who find themselves with a seriously ill child in hospital.”