A fundraiser from New York is lacing up his running shoes and taking on the London Marathon to raise money for the charity his dad founded 40 years ago.
Adam Pritchard will take to the capital’s streets on 23 April to raise vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust, the charity that gives families with a seriously ill child in hospital a warm and comfortable place to stay. Adam has a special connection to The Sick Children’s Trust as his father, Dr Jon Pritchard, was instrumental in founding the charity alongside fellow paediatrician Professor James Malpas.
Working at two prominent London hospitals – Jon at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), James at St Barts – they saw the need for parents to have a place to stay close to their children while they were being treated on the intensive care units. However, with parents unable to stay at the hospitals, they looked to set up accommodation nearby where families could stay free of charge.
In 1982 they founded The Sick Children’s Trust and two years later opened the charity’s first ‘Home from Home’, Rainbow House, located just minutes from Great Ormond Street Hospital. Over the next 40 years The Sick Children’s Trust expanded opening ten ‘Homes from Home’ located at specialist children’s hospitals including three in Yorkshire. Eckersley House at Leeds Children’s Hospital and Magnolia and Treetop Houses and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The charity has gone on to support over 75,000 families with a comfortable place to stay close to their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside. Now Adam is continuing his dad’s legacy, travelling from his home in the USA to take part in the London Marathon and raise vital funds for the charity. Adam said:
“My dad, alongside his colleague, Professor James Malpas, witnessed the trauma that families went through when trying to stay close to their seriously ill child. With many families travelling long distances to the specialist children’s hospitals, they were facing increased stress due to the cost of hotels, with some resorting to sleeping in their cars or on hospital chairs to be near their child.
“Along with a core group of amazing people my dad decided to act, founding The Sick Children’s Trust. After a couple of years of planning and fundraising, which saw my dad climb Mount Kilimanjaro and run the London Marathon himself, they opened the charity’s first ‘Home from Home’, Rainbow House, just round the corner from GOSH, which is still supporting families today.
“I have run a marathon before, but it was back in 2000. I recently completed the New York Half Marathon, so while I’m nervous about the London Marathon I do feel I will get through it. Despite the 40-year gap, it is really nice to come back to the UK and support The Sick Children’s Trust.
“It’s a great motivator to have this extra connection to The Sick Children’s Trust and I just want to do my part for the charity that my dad started a long time ago, raising awareness of their invaluable work.”
The Sick Children’s Trust does not charge families to stay in any of its ‘Homes from Home’ however it does cost the charity £40 a night to support a family. Community Fundraising Manager, Elisa Coppello-Dowd, said:
“We cannot thank Adam enough for taking on the London Marathon to raise money to support our ‘Homes from Home’, especially with his wonderful connection to us. His parents were significant contributors in founding our charity and thanks to their incredible commitment The Sick Children’s Trust has been able to support so many families during an extremely difficult time.
“As a charity we rely on the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers, like Adam, to make sure we can continue supporting families while their children are seriously ill in hospital. With the cost-of-living crisis that support is now even more vital.”
More information about Adam’s fundraising can be found on his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Adam-Pritchard-SCT