CLIC Sargent and long-term partner Crerar Trust launched the week-long online vote earlier this month, to give members of the public the chance to name CLIC Sargent’s new haven in Edinburgh for children and young people living with cancer.
The winning name ‘Ciaran’s House’ was chosen by the public from four entries submitted by families who have experienced how vital the previous CLIC Villa home is for children living with cancer. The shortlisted names were based on their ‘cancer heroes’ who have supported them throughout their family's cancer journey:
On hearing the news that the Edinburgh Home from Home will be named 'Ciaran's House', after her 16-year-old son Ciaran, who donated Bone Marrow to his younger cancer patient brother, Reon, 13, Aileen McSherry, said:
"This is fantastic news - I am feeling very emotional. CLIC Sargent has been an absolute rock for my family.
"It is really special that CLIC Sargent has been asking families to get involved in naming the Home from Home, and we feel it's a huge privilege that Ciaran's name has been chosen."
"CLIC has wrapped us all up with care and support as a family for the last few years, providing a loving background and allowing our son Reon to be himself, making him feel like he's at home, even though he is being treated in hospital.
"Our family, friends and even teachers at Reon's and Ciaran’s school shared his story, and it just spread far and wide from there. We have heard from people living as far afield as America and Australia, who voted for 'Ciaran's House'. We really appreciate the time people have taken to vote for us and the care and support they have shown our family.
"We are quite a private family, but we want people to know just how much CLIC Sargent does to support families and how they need funds for their work. We have been supported by the CLIC Sargent staff working in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, who have all been fantastic and have helped to take away our worries. They were vital in keeping our family together. In the midst of all our sadness it was such an incredible feeling of warmth and care.”
Aileen also said that CLIC Sargent staff in Edinburgh, Mandy, Sandra and Olive 'deeply understood our situation before we even did and have cheered us all on ever since'.
The charity is due to open the new Home from Home in Edinburgh in autumn 2018, providing vital free accommodation for children and young people with cancer and their families near the re-sited Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.
CLIC Sargent’s current Home from Home, CLIC Villa, has supported thousands of families since it opened in 1997. More than 300 families have stayed at the house over the last two years, many for several months.
Kate Lee, Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent, said: “We are so thankful to all of the families who took part for sharing their stories and nominating their cancer heroes to name our new home.
"It’s heartwarming to hear just how much of a boost our support has given the winning family – and how much it means to them to have our new home named ‘Ciaran’s House’."
“In honour of all four names put forward for the vote by the incredible families we support, we have decided to take the initial from each cancer hero (Ciaran, April, Leona and Ian) and call the new building’s office where families will meet with their CLIC Sargent social workers, ‘CALI’s Room’.
“Our Homes from Home provide a vital space for families when cancer strikes young lives. A cancer diagnosis means normal life stops for the child or young person, and their family. Treatment is grueling and often happens many miles from home.
“We are delighted that this new home will allow us to continue to provide a welcoming, calm place to help families spend more time together and ease the financial burden of travel costs. We would like to thank all of our supporters and donors such as Crerar Trust and Children with Cancer UK for their generosity.”
The new Home from Home, designed by LDN Architects, will be built on Old Dalkeith Road. It will have nine en-suite family bedrooms, as well as communal kitchens, laundry and social areas, helping families spend more time together and avoid often debilitating travel costs.
CLIC Sargent research shows children receiving treatment can face an average round trip of 56 miles to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, to receive treatment with some travelling much further.
In 2013, CLIC Sargent launched its Scotland Home from Home Appeal in response to the NHS’s plans to relocate the Glasgow and Edinburgh hospitals caring for children and young people with cancer.
Thanks to the generosity of the charity’s supporters, including the Crerar Trust and Children with Cancer UK, CLIC Sargent opened Marion’s House in Glasgow in 2015, as well as securing the site for the new home in Edinburgh However, the charity still needs the public’s help to raise the final £155,000 to cap a £3.3 million appeal for its Scotland Homes from Home.
Paddy Crerar, Chief Executive Officer of Crerar Hotel Group, said: “The Crerar Trust is thrilled to support CLIC Sargent and would to offer our congratulations to the winning family and all of those who took part. It’s a wonderful tribute to Ciaran, and to all their heroes who inspired the naming of the new home’s office.
“CLIC Sargent’s tireless work in helping families to limit the damage cancer causes beyond a child or young person’s health makes such a huge difference.
“At Crerar Hotels and our Charitable Trust we are inspired by the stories of courage from families who are faced with this terrible disease.”
To donate to CLIC Sargent’s appeal text “HOME” to 70020 to donate £3 or visit www.clicsargent.org.uk/donate