NATIONAL charity The Sick Children’s Trust has been overwhelmed by the success of its latest virtual challenge, which was launched to reduce the drop in income brought about by the global pandemic.
The Sick Children’s Trust is the charity that gives families with a seriously ill child in hospital a comfortable place to stay in one of its ten ‘Homes from Home’, just a few minutes’ walk from the children’s wards. Despite the pandemic and government restrictions, the charity remained open and committed to supporting as many families as possible over the last year, however, due to cancelled events and uncertainty, the charity has lost vital income.
In an attempt to make up the shortfall, The Sick Children’s Trust launched Sit Up for The Sick Children’s Trust in March 2021 to recruit Warriors, Gladiators and Titans to take part in a month-long challenge. Participants could choose to complete anywhere from 300-3,000 sit-ups during the month and donate £30 to take part. By the halfway point, the charity had reached its target of raising £15,000 thanks to generous supporters not only donating £30 but also setting up fundraising pages.
Gladiator participant Georgie Monigatti decided to take part in the challenge to thank The Sick Children’s Trust for giving her a place to stay at its ‘Home from Home’ Acorn House, Cambridge, when her son, Carter, was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital with breathing difficulties. By taking on the 900 sit-ups, she has raised £435.
“When Carter arrived at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, I knew we would be there for a while. I wasn’t prepared to leave Carter, and I realised I would have to try to stay awake in that chair until he got better. Fortunately, I didn’t have to as I was handed the keys to a room at Acorn House.
“When I arrived at Acorn House, I felt at home. There was a kitchen, living room and even a playroom, so I knew straight away that I could bring Elsie, Carter’s older sister, when the time was right. I was only ever a short walk away from Carter, and it meant the absolute world to me to have a home to go to after long, tough hours on the ward and also to have quality time with my daughter and family in a homely setting.
“Since our stay, I have been supporting The Sick Children’s Trust in whatever way I can, but it’s been a challenging year. Doing 900 sit-ups in a month may sound easy for some but most definitely not for me, this is a huge challenge. I was poorly myself starting with severe pre-eclampsia during my pregnancy which ended in an emergency caesarean. I was rushed into hospital with sepsis, pneumonia, and pleurisy in February 2020. I then only managed about a week out of hospital before being admitted again with pancreatitis and severe liver damage.
“This challenge has been harder than I thought, but Carter jumps in to join me every day, and Elsie always gives me some motivational words which get me through!”
It costs The Sick Children’s Trust £30 to support a family like Georgie’s for one night. £30 gives a family so much more than just a roof over their heads when their child is in hospital. £30 gives them someone to talk to and a calm place to rest with their family.
Charlotte Webster, Corporate Partnerships Manager at The Sick Children’s Trust, said:
“2020 was a really challenging year for us, and we have been looking for ways all of our supporters can get involved to help keep families together with their seriously ill child. Sit Up for The Sick Children’s Trust is something that anyone can do anywhere, but it is not an easy challenge! We invited everyone to join a community Facebook group where they have been receiving support and encouragement, which has been so important for this challenge.
“We’d like to thank all of our amazing champions for taking part, we’ve had families like Georgie’s sign up, corporate partners, trustees, staff and plenty more. It has been fantastic to see people come together to help us continue to keep our ‘Homes from Home’ open. Thank you.”
To find out more about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit sickchildrenstrust.org.
You can help by donating to Georgie’s JustGiving page.