CLIC Sargent, has now begun construction work on Northern Ireland’s first specialist Home from Home for families of children undergoing cancer treatments at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
Located within walking distance of the hospital, the house has been designed with the families and their circumstances in mind. It will comprise of four large en suite family bedrooms, communal living and kitchen spaces, a quiet room and age appropriate play space.
The house will be provided to families free of charge and offers them the ability to remain close to their child while they undergo treatment as well as the chance to maintain a sense of a normal family life by keeping the whole family together.
Construction and outfitting is expected to take up to eight months, with the first families being able to use the house by early January 2014.
About the Northern Ireland Appeal
The Northern Ireland Homes from Home appeal aims to raise £3.7 million to fund two Homes from Home at locations within walking distance of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and the Belfast City and Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, where young people with cancer are treated.
Every week, two children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland. On average a family in Northern Ireland will make a round-trip of 95 miles, up to five times a week so that they can access the cancer treatment their child needs.
This puts a big financial strain on the family with the cost of travel and possibly temporary accommodation while their child is undergoing treatment.
Northern Ireland Appeal 2013
CLIC Sargent has also bought the site for a second Home from Home, located close to the Belfast City Hospital. The Northern Ireland Appeal will now continue efforts to raise the £1.3m needed to redevelop the second Home from Home.
CLIC Sargent's director of services, Dara de Burca said: “A big thank you to people and businesses who have helped raise just over £2m during our Northern Ireland Home from Home Appeal.
“To ensure we can deliver the second Home from Home, we need to raise at least another £1.3m in the next year, which will support children and young people with cancer, who receive their treatment at the Belfast City Hospital."
Rachel Johnston and her daughter Honour from Millisle received support from CLIC Sargent when Honour was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.
They believe a Home from Home in Northern Ireland could make a real difference:
“Sitting for hours in a hospital also adds to the anxiety. To go to a Home from Home, and sit in a comfortable and homely environment would have been great for us. It would have eliminated all of the travelling which took its toll on Honour and made her very sick.”
Barry and Sandra McGuigan support the Appeal
Former world boxing champion and CLIC Sargent Patron, Barry McGuigan is Patron of the Northern Ireland Homes from Home Appeal, and his wife, Sandra McGuigan Chairs the Appeal Committee.
Barry says: “I know first-hand about the vital support CLIC Sargent provides for families affected by childhood cancer, because it helped our family when my daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 11.
“Home from Home accommodation in Belfast will help to reduce the emotional and financial strain for hundreds of families in Northern Ireland, so I’ll be doing whatever I can to encourage people to donate to, or support this appeal.”
How you can help
Make a donation
Every donation to CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home appeal will be used to fund CLIC Sargent’s work in Northern Ireland.
Find out more
If you would like to get involved and help support CLIC Sargent's Northern Ireland Appeal, please contact the Northern Ireland Appeal team on 02890 725 780.