We are thrilled to announce that we have been named charity of the year by MTM Consulting for the academic year of 2023/2024.
Our charity holds a special place in the hearts of the team of education market research experts, particularly that of Managing Director James Leggett. In August 2014, James’s son Henry was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 19 months old. James and wife Katie, who also works for MTM Consulting, were supported at our Acorn House ‘Home from Home’ while Henry was receiving treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. James said:
Henry at Addenbrooke’s in 2014. Credit: James Leggett.
“It was an incredibly stressful time, and the added stress of trying to find an affordable place to stay near the hospital at such short notice would have been overwhelming. At the time we were living in Beccles, Suffolk, close to two hours away from Addenbrooke’s, so we wouldn’t have been able to drive every day. The Sick Children’s Trust provided us with the most amazing lifeline, giving us a key to a room at Acorn House, located on site at the hospital not too far from Henry’s ward. We were told that the room would be our home for as long as we needed it, free of charge. It was a huge relief, allowing us to stay close to Henry whilst he was fighting for his life, when he needed us most.”
Having supported James and Katie throughout this difficult period, both Acorn House and the charity left a lasting impression on the family. James, who still proudly wears his charity wristband every day, described the support they received from The Sick Children’s Trust as “invaluable” and “extraordinary”, lifting a significant burden from the family’s shoulders and allowing them to focus on their son’s well-being without the added stress of worrying where they would be staying each night. James said:
“The generosity extended beyond mere lodging, as the room came equipped with a bedside phone directly connected to Henry’s ward. We could also cook meals in the kitchen and have them waiting in the fridge for us after long days. It helped keep us going, allowing us to look after ourselves as well.”
James and Katie stayed at Acorn House for three and a half weeks, during which time a tumour “the size of an orange” was removed from Henry’s brain. Thankfully, Henry has made an excellent recovery and is now fast approaching his 11th birthday. Katie said:
Henry with dad James. Credit: James Leggett.
“He’s doing great. He’s having a few issues with his eyes currently, which could be connected to the tumour. They are looking into it, but he really is doing well. He had to have MRI scans every six months after the tumour was removed, something which only stopped last year. He wears the scars physically, and we wear them emotionally, but we are all doing great.
“We didn’t know anything about The Sick Children’s Trust or their ‘Homes from Home’ until we were in the situation where we really needed to use one. We’ll never forget what they did for us during that time.”
For the 2023/2024 academic year, MTM Consulting – which has a proven 40-year track record of helping schools and education providers to recruit more students and retain those they already have – will be engaging in various fundraising activities and providing their numerous clients with opportunities to contribute to the cause. We are hugely grateful to everyone at MTM Consulting for supporting our charity.