Home MAIN FEATURED The Sick Children’s Trust has launched its first ever Christmas appeal

The Sick Children’s Trust has launched its first ever Christmas appeal

No child should wake up on Christmas Day without their family by their side. That’s why the #UKCharityWeek Official Partner Charity The Sick Children’s Trust is launching its first Christmas appeal to keep families with critically ill children together during the festive period.

The Sick Children’s Trust is asking the nation to dig deep to support families with seriously ill children in hospital this Christmas, by donating £30 to keep them together in free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation.

The Sick Children’s Trust’s Christmas appeal – ‘All I want for Christmas’ – aims to raise £13,140, enough to run its ten ‘Homes from Home’ during the festive period, providing essential emotional and practical support to families in need. Each house is located at a leading specialist children’s hospital, just a few minutes away from the paediatric intensive care wards, so parents can create magical memories with their seriously ill child.

The appeal focuses around the stories of families who have benefited from the charity’s support. A short film features children and their parents making a Christmas wish, saying what they want Father Christmas to bring them. While some children want everything from a slime selection to an iPhone, others simply want to be able to spend Christmas together.

While the charity cannot make every wish come true, it can keep a family together in free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation so children can wake up on Christmas Day with their mums and dads, brothers and sisters around them.

The Sick Children’s Trust is a national charity which supports around 4,000 families every year. The charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to keep its ten ‘Homes from Home’ running, providing vital support to families with children undergoing lifesaving treatment in hospital. This Christmas it expects that every room in every house will be full with families, caring for some of the UK’s sickest children.

Jane Featherstone, CEO at The Sick Children’s Trust says: “No child should wake up on Christmas morning without their family around them. But this Christmas, many families with a critically ill child in a specialist hospital will face a long journey to be at their child’s side.

“A donation of £30 will give a family a place to stay in one of our ‘Homes from Home’, just moments from their sick child. It costs The Sick Children’s Trust £13,140 to run our ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country over the Christmas period, keeping families together at one of the most important times of the year. Your donation can make this possible.”

The appeal tells some very personal stories, giving an insight into the difficulties faced by families with sick children in hospital. A little girl who features in the film is one year old Zariah Albano, from Glasgow.

Zariah is currently waiting for a lifesaving heart transplant at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and all her Mum, Leeander Barrett, wants for Christmas is a donor heart for her baby daughter. While they wait for a transplant, Leeander is being supported at The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ in Newcastle, Scott House. Leeander says:

“We know that Zariah’s only chance of survival is a heart transplant, and we’re now waiting for a lifesaving donor heart to become available. It’s been four months already and this wait is the worst I’ve ever known. I try my best not to think about how much longer it may be or when we might be home, because that’s torture.

“Throughout all of this emotional turmoil, it has been such a comfort to know that I have a home at Scott House, just minutes from my daughter’s side. A place where I can go and sit away from the ward and take some time to get my head around the situation. A place where my mum can come to visit as support for me and Zariah. And a place where I can speak to other families who really understand all that I’m going through. I can’t imagine having to go through this alone. Thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust, I don’t have to.”

To keep a family like Zariah’s together this Christmas, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/sickchildrenstrust/alliwantforxmas .

For more information on The Sick Children’s Trust and for other ways to donate, please visit http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/Donate/.