Oliver Portman1
Imagine for a moment that your child is undergoing treatment for cancer. You are spending days, even weeks at a time in hospital by their side as they learn to cope with the side effects, not only of the disease but the aggressive treatment they are receiving to combat it.

When your child isn’t in hospital they’re too sick to go to school or nursery, so you have had to give up work to be at home with them 24 hours a day too – It’s a full-time job looking after a child with cancer.

Now imagine you have two other children. They’re at school during the week and having to spend evenings and weekends with friends or relatives when you’re not home. They don’t see much of you because you’re regularly attending hospital appointments with their sick brother or sister. Your attention is so focused on helping your child get better that, completely unintentionally, your other children begin to feel left out.

This situation is a reality for many families all over the UK, and with both time and money often in short supply, it can be very difficult for them to find a solution. This is where Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund can help.

We are able to offer many families free or discounted tickets for days out all over the country – there is usually something to suit most families regardless of their location or their child’s age. Sometimes we provide grants for these days out, and sometimes the tickets are kindly donated by businesses and attraction owners for the purpose of helping these families spend vital quality time together without having to worry about the cost.

For families who need something extra-special, we have been told that our Respite Breaks project is ‘just what the doctor ordered.’

We own two fabulous holiday homes near the New Forest, and we enable nearly one hundred families a year to get away from it all and spend quality time together there, totally free of charge. The project even offers spending money grants for families to help with the cost of travel, days out and food during their stay to make their holiday almost completely worry-free.

Many families of a child undergoing cancer treatment simply cannot afford a holiday and those that can are then burdened with the worry of having to cancel last-minute if their child is too sick to travel, thus losing all of the hard-earned money they have spent, with nothing in return. As Lennox Respite Breaks are completely free, this is another worry we have taken from their shoulders.

The purpose of our Respite Breaks project is to enable everyone to sit back and relax like a ‘normal’ family where cancer is not the main issue of the day, and where they are not surrounded by doctors and scary medical equipment. Our holiday homes each have three bedrooms, so there’s room for the kids, grandparents or any other friends or family members – a chance for extended family to be close again.