The staff at NHS Property Services has voted overwhelmingly in favour of Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent) as their new three-year charity partner.
The government-owned company, which helps the NHS get the most from its estate, will support the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people both financially and logistically.
Funds raised through the partnership with NHS Property Services will go towards Young Lives vs Cancer’s ‘Homes from Home’ service, providing a free place for families to stay when their child is going through cancer treatment. The charity has 10 Homes from Home close to specialist treatment centres in eight cities across the UK. These help families avoid the extra financial burdens of travel, accommodation and food costs. They also allow young cancer patients to be close to their loved ones, keeping the family together at a difficult time.
The NHS Property Services’ team will not only be taking on a whole host of fundraising challenges over the next three years, they will also help Young Lives vs Cancer logistically through volunteer maintenance roles in the Homes from Home. As managers of one of the largest property portfolio in the UK, they will use their unrivalled depth of experience and breadth of skills to help keep the Homes from Home safe and fit for purpose for years to come.
Young cancer patients can often experience acute isolation during their treatment, which negatively affects their mental health. Young Lives vs Cancer social care teams will look to run peer-to-peer support group sessions, as well as one to one support for families, at space in NHS Property Services’ portfolio.
Head of High Value Fundraising at Young Lives vs Cancer, Julie Millar said:
“We’re so grateful to everyone at NHS Property Services who voted for Young Lives vs Cancer as their new charity partner. Our Homes from Home provide a lifeline for families who face the crushing reality of a childhood cancer diagnosis. This three-year partnership will ensure that our Homes from Home can continue to run both during these challenging times and in the future, keeping young cancer patients and their families safe and supported during treatment.”
Deborah Prince, NHS Property Services Director of Customer Services and Communication, said that Young Lives vs Cancer is a perfect fit for the organisation:
“With 64 exceptional candidates all doing such great work, our frontline colleagues picked a partner that really resonated with them. We’re so excited to be working with the Young Lives vs. Cancer team to make a real difference to the lives of children and their families affected by cancer and we are incredibly proud to be supporting this work.”
Many children like five-year-old Emmett from Aylesbury have already benefitted hugely from staying in a Home from Home. Emmett was diagnosed with germ cell cancer in August 2018 and was physically sick a number of times every hour when he first started chemotherapy.
Staying in Young Lives vs Cancer’s Home from Home, CLIC Court in Oxford close to John Radcliffe Hospital, was hugely helpful for Emmett and his mum, Amy Scullard, who says,
“We were so thankful we were at the Home.”
Another parent supported by Young Lives vs Cancer, who stayed at Billy’s House in Nottingham close to Nottingham University Hospital, describes the real benefits of staying in a Home from Home:
“The other parents at the house were in similar situations and we would look out for each other, whether it was a shoulder to cry on, or sharing milk when you couldn’t get to the shop. And our children could play together without worrying about germs and illnesses that people outside of the cancer world don’t always understand.”
With only 19 specialist cancer treatment centres for young people in the UK, many families face frequent and gruelling journeys – on average 60 miles or more – to receive life-saving treatment their child needs. Treatment can last up to three years and families can face extra costs of £600 each month for travelling and food. Young Lives vs Cancer’s Homes from Home provide clean, safe and homely accommodation for families when they most need it, completely free.
For more information about Young Lives vs Cancer, visit younglivesvscancer.org.uk