CLIC Sargent invests £1.5m in Northern Ireland's first specialist Home from Home for families of children undergoing cancer treatment.
Banbridge based building contractor, McAvoy Construction has further strengthened its reputation as one of Northern Ireland’s foremost building companies with the award of a new construction contract worth more than £500,000 by leading children and young person’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent.
The contract which is expected to be completed in November 2013 will see McAvoy Construction working in partnership with CLIC Sargent to build the charity’s first ever specialist Home from Home in Northern Ireland 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.
In total CLIC Sargent will invest more than £1.5m to establish its first Home from Home in Belfast and provide the funds to support children and young people with cancer, and their families at the Home from Home for the first three years. This would not have been possible without the generosity of the people of Northern Ireland.
In Northern Ireland a family dealing with childhood cancer can face an average round trip of 95 miles, several times per week in order to receive a cancer treatment and spend an additional £360 per month. Costs will include travel, fuel, meals and accommodation. The CLIC Sargent Homes from Home Appeal aims reduce these costs.
Commenting on the contract announcement Pearse McAvoy, Managing Partner said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work on such a worthwhile construction project, especially as it is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. Initial building work started last week and we’re aiming to have the construction completed by November.
"Having taken time to learn more about the Homes from Home Appeal, we very quickly realised how important the project was and the impact it would have on families and children that attend the hospital for treatment. I know the site team are up for the task and that everyone is motivated to complete the build on time and to our very high professional standards."
Roisin McKenna, Project Manager, CLIC Sargent said, "We’re delighted to be working with McAvoy Construction. The company demonstrated a clear understanding for the Appeal and its track record speaks for itself. We’ve been working on the Northern Ireland Homes from Home concept for a number of years now, and to finally get the project on site is fantastic news for the charity.
"The home at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children will provide a much needed resource to families undergoing a cancer treatment with a child. The home will do much to ease some of the stress, and cost associated with childhood cancer.
"The Northern Ireland Homes from Home Appeal is a £3.7m capital project and is the largest undertaken by CLIC Sargent in Northern Ireland. Work on the house at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is the first of two build projects we aim to complete by the close of 2014."
In addition to the children’s Home from Home, CLIC Sargent is fundraising to complete a similar style of house for young people (16-24 years of age) and their families attending the Belfast City Hospital for cancer treatment. The charity is working hard to raise the remainder of its £3.7m target in order to complete the project by 2014.
Please visit the Northern Ireland Homes from Home Appeal page to find out more or to make a donation.
For more information, an interview or images, please contact Gareth Colhoun on 028 9072 5780 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About childhood cancer
Each week, two (10 across the UK) children and young people in Northern Ireland are told they have cancer, and diagnosis usually comes as a shock. Treatment normally starts straight away and can last up to three years.
Although survival rates are over 70%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children in the UK.
About CLIC Sargent
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. It provides clinical, practical and emotional support for young cancer patients and their families, from diagnosis onwards.
For more information, please visit official CLIC Sargent website.
Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.