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Please donate by going to the website www.sickchildrenstrust.org or by calling 0207 931 8695. If you’d like to post a donation please make your cheque payable to ‘The Sick Children's Trust' and send it to The Sick Children's Trust, 3rd Floor, Willow House, 17-23 Willow Place, London. SW1P 1JH.The Sick Children's Trust
As a parent myself, The Sick Children’s Trust is a cause close to my heart which is why I am supporting this appeal.
There is no time more worrying or distressing for a parent than when a child is ill and in hospital, and they are miles away from them. Equally, for the child, a hospital can be a lonely and frightening place. What families need during these times is support, and that's why The Sick Children’s Trust has its 'Homes from Home', so that parents can be close by their child, holding their hand through their illness.
This year is a very special year for the charity as it is celebrating its 30th anniversary and I hope you will show them your support and allow them to continue their wonderful work, supporting families when they need each other most.
The Sick Children's Trust
Every day, hundreds of children across the UK are diagnosed with serious or life-threatening illnesses. For many this means being transferred to specialist hospitals to receive the urgent medical treatment they need. These hospitals can be long distances from home and far from the comfort and security of family, friends and a child’s own bedroom. Life for the whole family is suddenly thrown into complete turmoil.
This is where the work of The Sick Children’s Trust makes all the difference. We exist to ensure that families are kept together when they have a child in hospital. We do this by providing ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at paediatric hospitals around the UK which allow the whole family to stay together, at no cost, in a comfortable and homely environment just minutes from hospital wards.
Every night we offer a sanctuary to 116 families across our eight ‘Homes from Homes’ but it’s not enough and there are many more families who need access to the essential service we provide.
Our BBC Lifeline introduces you to our vital work and features the inspiring stories of just two of the more than 40,000 families we have helped. We hope the appeal will inspire you to support us.
Just after her second birthday, Elsie was suddenly diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia and rushed to a specialist hospital unit in Cambridge, miles away from home. She immediately had to undergo a treatment of hard hitting chemotherapy which meant continuous hospitalization for six months. Her mum, Charlotte said, “She was in an absolutely terrible state. There were so many nights when I thought she’s not going to make through tonight, she’s too weak.”
Elsie’s family worried how they would cope practically and financially to be constantly by their daughter side. Charlotte was also eight months pregnant at the time and said, “it just seemed totally insurmountable. We just didn’t know what to do.”
Fortunately, the family were able to stay in one of the charity’s homes enabling them all to be by Elsie’s side for the entire time that she was being treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Charlotte said, “Without the Sick Children’s Trust, I just don’t know how we could have survived that period. Emotionally, financially practically.”
After 9 months of treatment Elsie has now made a remarkable recovery.
Last year, eight-year-old Enna was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Two days later, she had surgery to remove the tumour but doctors told her parents that she would also need a treatment of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for a 16 month period.
As an outpatient Enna would have to travel for miles every day from home to undergo her treatment. Her family worried how she would cope with the journey while being so unwell and also the practicality of trying to support their daughter. Enna’s mum Vana said, “you think, where are we going to stay, what are we going to do, how much would it cost us as a family?” The family faced the prospect of not being able to stay together when Enna needed them the most.
The charity gave them a place to stay in one of their houses every time Enna needed treatment. Vana, Enna’s, mum said, “The Sick Children’s Trust just said there is a room, its fine, come and stay with us. And it makes the whole thing just a little bit more bearable.”
Enna has now finished her final treatment of chemotherapy and is well on the way to recovery.
Behind the Scenes
Filming with Dominic West
Dominic learning his lines
Filming with Enna and her family
- Dominic West
- Gavin Ahern
- Executive Producer
- Gary Hunter