Guernsey-born Le Tissier is lending his support to CLIC Sargent’s fundraising appeal to transform a former Southampton bed and breakfast into a ‘bigger and better’ haven for young cancer patients and their families.
The new ‘Home from Home’, called Jean’s House, will have seven en-suite family bedrooms (sleeping up to four people), two open plan kitchen/diners, two lounges and a teenagers’ space, helping families spend more time together and avoid often debilitating travel and accommodation costs.
CLIC Sargent launched a fundraising appeal to cover the £1.6million cost for buying and fully adapting the building. Over £1.2million pounds has already been raised thanks to generous support from donors including: Children with Cancer UK, Signet and Sir Jules Thorne Charitable Trust and now CLIC Sargent are seeking to raise the remaining £400,000 to fully renovate and furnish the house.
The new home will replace the charity’s existing Home from Home at CLIC Haven which opened in the grounds of Southampton Hospital in 1991. CLIC Sargent’s lease of the property from the hospital has come to an end and the charity is taking the opportunity to create a ‘bigger and better’ home at Jean’s House to meet growing demand for accommodation from desperate families.
Jersey to Southampton
During his visit, Le Tissier met Matt Swift, 18, and his mum, Micki, both from Jersey, who have stayed at the CLIC Haven whilst Matt was on treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), in Southampton miles away from their homes in Jersey.
Matt was diagnosed in the summer holidays of 2012 after experiencing fatigue and pains in his arms and legs. By September 2015, Matt was in remission, but sadly he also relapsed in April 2017, Matt underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant this year.
Matt’s mum, Micki Swift, said: “CLIC Haven really is a home from home, having other parents who can support you, sometimes you want to talk and sometimes you don’t, so you can just go to your room if you want to be on your own. When Matt’s not wanted to talk much, it’s great to come to CLIC Haven for ten minutes and have a cup of tea.”
Matt Le Tissier said: “I can’t imagine what it must be like for families many miles from home stuck on the hospital ward with a desperately ill child."
“I think it’s something to be really proud of that this building in Southampton will be a vital lifeline for so many families for years to come. This house will give them home comforts and most importantly keep families together during a really difficult time. I really hope that everyone gets behind CLIC Sargent for this campaign and gives what they can.”
A welcoming haven
CLIC Sargent’s UK Home from Home Manager, Cecilia Milburn, said: “With the public’s support, we will transform the property into a welcoming haven for families going through a really tough time. Jean’s House has been specially-designed to be bigger and better than before, offering more space and comfort for families. We are asking for the public’s help to house even more families in desperate need, saving them hundreds of pounds and bringing crucial home comforts in a time of great turmoil”.
Support the appeal
To donate to CLIC Sargent’s Southampton Home from Home appeal text 'HOME' to 70020 to donate £3 or find out more about how you can support the relocation project.