Wednesday 23 March 2022 marks 40 years since the founding of The Sick Children’s Trust, and today we’re launching an appeal to help us raise £237,000 to support families in all 148 rooms of our ‘Homes from Home’ for 40 nights.
Over the past four decades The Sick Children’s Trust has supported families with a seriously ill child in hospital by providing a ‘Home from Home’ just minutes away from their child’s hospital bedside. In that time our charity has helped more than 73,000 families from all over the country by providing a warm, welcoming, clean, and comfortable environment free of charge.
Our ‘Homes from Home’ remove the huge financial burden of paying for nearby accommodation as well as the additional stress of a daily journey that can often be as much as two hours each way. For a seriously ill child in hospital, away from their own home in an unfamiliar, often unsettling environment, they simply want to be with their loved ones, something we take great pride in helping to make happen.
We are proud of what we have achieved over the past 40 years, helping so many families when they needed it most. Indeed, it is an opportune moment to reflect on those achievements. I know that Dr John Pritchard and Professor James Malpas, the two paediatric consultants who founded the charity based on a fundamental belief that keeping families together aids the recovery of a seriously ill child in hospital, would be gratified by this legacy if they were alive today.
While it is important to take stock of how far we have come since our first ‘Home from Home’ opened in London in 1984, it is vital that we continue looking to the future. We are determined to keep families together at our homes – located in Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Cambridge, and London – for many years to come. The feedback we receive from supported families provides a poignant reminder of the importance of what we do, and we have ambitions to provide even more rooms in the years ahead.
On average families will stay with us for 14 nights while their child is in hospital and, with your support, we can continue to keep them together. However, with growing waiting lists for those needing to access our ‘Homes from Home’, the generosity of the public through donations and fundraising remains vital.
A £40 donation to The Sick Children’s Trust will cover the cost of one night’s stay, helping us continue our founders’ vision to ensure families never have to sleep in hospital chairs, their cars, expensive hotels or drive long distances to be by their sick child’s hospital bedside again.
Please help us with our mission by donating at sickchildrenstrust.org.
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust.