CLIC Sargent Homes from Home provide free accommodation for children young people and their families near major treatment centres.
The Scottish Homes from Home, Cruachan House in Glasgow and CLIC Villa in Edinburgh, are moving in 2015 and 2017 because the hospitals they serve, Yorkhill in Glasgow and the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Sick Children, are relocating.
CLIC Sargent hopes to continue to provide free accommodation near the new hospitals.
The Crerar Hotel Trust has pledged £1.2 million towards the appeal. At the appeal launch this afternoon attended by CLIC Villa staff and families, Paddy Crerar, the Crerar Hotels Group Chief Executive and Crerar Hotels Group Chairman, received a special key from Kelsee Grant, aged three, who stayed at CLIC Villa earlier this year after she was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Kelsee’s mum Louise said: “CLIC Villa was a godsend for us. It made a drastic difference, as we would otherwise have had to make frequent two hour round trips at rush hour from our home in West Lothian. Kelsee had to have lumbar punctures at 8am on a Wednesday, which would have been a nightmare journey without CLIC Villa.
“Although Kelsee was scared of the hospital, she loved going to CLIC Villa, her room, all the toys and the staff, who are lovely. It is a safe house for her,” Louise said.
CLIC Sargent patron Sally Magnusson said: “Being able to stay in the CLIC Sargent Homes from Home when they are having treatment for cancer in Edinburgh and Glasgow has meant a great deal to the children, young people and families that CLIC Sargent supports.
“Many young cancer patients in Scotland have to travel long distances to get treatment, so the Homes from Home are invaluable to them. CLIC Sargent is launching this appeal to make sure that they can continue to benefit from this service so close to the hospitals when they move.”
“Cruachan House and CLIC Villa, our Homes from Home in Glasgow and Edinburgh, provide vital support to families whose lives have been turned upside down,” said Ellen Finlayson, CLIC Sargent’s Assistant Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“They provide a homely, supportive and friendly place to stay during treatment at the hospital, ensuring that families can be together, and reducing the number of journeys to and from the hospitals, which for many in Scotland are a long way from their home.
“Without your support we won’t be able to move our Homes from Home, and young cancer patients and their families will not be able to benefit from this service so close to the hospital. We need to raise around £3m so that young cancer patients can continue to benefit from this service close to the hospital,” said Ellen.
Paddy Crerar said: "Crerar Hotels Trust is delighted in every way to support CLIC Sargent. Their tireless work makes a massive difference to countless families struggling with the physical and emotional effects of cancer and its treatment.”
“Crerar Hotels has its heart in the Highlands of Scotland and we know that many of the families who have been helped by the CLIC Sargent Home from Homes are Highland families. It is great for our folk in the hotels to see their hard work and efforts helping people in their own communities as well as those from throughout the whole of Scotland. Of course, it only works because our customers keep coming back, for which we are truly grateful. I hope our customers can be as proud as we are that together we have been able to help CLIC Sargent through our Charitable Trust, quite frankly, because of their patronage.”
“It's been totally humbling to discover how many families have used these Homes from Home, while living through such an unimaginable challenge. It's impossibly tough for the kids who have to fight cancer, but the whole family is affected and that’s why doing something to help a whole family is so important.
“It was an easy decision, no brains required, to donate these Homes from Home to CLIC Sargent – they need to be as close to the treatments as possible, and the news that the children's hospitals would be relocating made the decision for us. We know the value of these assets will generate a significant sum, and we also know that CLIC will use that money to provide new first class accommodation that remains a Home from Home.
“Everyone involved with Crerar Hotels and our charitable Trust has been inspired by the courage of the families that find themselves battling this terrible disease. The help CLIC Sargent gives them is priceless - we wish them all the very best and we look forward to continuing our support whenever we can.”
To donate please go to www.clicsargent.org.uk/scotlandhomesfromhomeappeal or call 0141 572 5700.