“You really can make a difference in people’s lives by volunteering.”

“You really can make a difference in people’s lives by volunteering.”

Sonia knows just how important having a warm and comfortable place to stay and a friendly ear to listen is, which is why she now volunteers for us

There are many reasons why people give up their time to volunteer for us, whether that’s in our Head Office, in a ‘Home from Home’ or in their local community. One heart-warming reason is that they want to help families who find themselves in a situation that they were once in.

Sonia Gratwick is a volunteer at Acorn House, one of our ‘Homes from Home’ in Cambridge where she stayed in 2018 with her husband. Her support is invaluable to our House Manager, Abi, and her team, but also to families who are staying with us. This is Sonia’s story.

“I started volunteering for The Sick Children’s Trust because my daughter, Chloe, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in January 2018 and my husband and I spent six months in Acorn House.

“Acorn House was a complete lifeline for us and made it possible to stay close to Chloe but also appreciate some much-needed respite in the evenings. The staff and house were an amazing support and everyone works so hard to make a really difficult situation as bearable as possible. It was truly a ‘Home from Home’ which supported all of my family. As a result recognising what The Sick Children’s Trust did for us, I wanted to give something back.

“The best thing about volunteering at Acorn House is I can be part of a team which helps to make families’ stays a little better. I enjoy the practical things I can do to improve and maintain the house, but also talking to the families, listening to their stories and being able to empathise with them is amazing. All of this, alongside being able to raise the profile of The Sick Children’s Trust through fundraising activities, which are especially important, is a huge benefit which come with volunteering.

“For anyone considering volunteering for The Sick Children’s Trust, I would say ‘do it’. It’s so rewarding. You really can make a difference in people’s lives. Being there, showing that you care and having a smile on your face and cup of tea with someone in need is one of the best feelings ever.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Sonia for volunteering for us at Acorn House, not only from everyone at The Sick Children’s Trust but also the families we support. Thank you.


Related content



We couldn't continue to support more families without our amazing volunteers

Email Newsletter

Every year we help families by giving them somewhere to stay near their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside. Sign up to receive our email newsletters to stay up to date with how your support is helping to keep families together.