- New haven for children and young people with cancer to be opened near Southampton Hospital where families can stay for free during treatment
Plans for Jean's House
The charity is planning to open a new ‘Home from Home’, called Jean’s House on Anglesea Road Southampton this autumn, providing vital free accommodation for young patients and their families during cancer treatment at nearby specialist Southampton Hospital.
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.
Planning permission for the transformation was granted by Southampton City Council in October and now CLIC Sargent have 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 we 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.
Occupancy for the house has been over 90% in recent months and as the charity grows they support more young people which also creates higher demand.
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”.
CLIC Sargent's current Home from Home, CLIC Haven, has supported thousands of families since it was opened in 1991. More than 300 families have stayed at the house over the last two years, many for several months. In 2016/17 there were 77 family stays for an average length of 16 days.
One of the families who have stayed at CLIC Haven is that of Ryan Kimber, 18, from Isle of Wight, who was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma a cancerous tumour in January 2016.
His father, Mike Kimber, said CLIC Haven was a vital lifeline when they realised they were facing many months of treatment.
He said: “Although still in shock and fearing the worst for Ryan, the fact we had somewhere to stay was an enormous relief to us and we used the privacy of our room to start calling family and friends to inform them of Ryan's situation.
“Without CLIC Sargent and the CLIC Haven house I don't know how we would have coped, it would have made a horrendous situation even worse. A hotel would have been unaffordable all year, especially considering I've had a considerable amount of time off work to spend time with Ryan. I cannot praise CLIC Sargent and their staff enough.”
Ryan, now in remission, is also lending his support to the campaign to help other families.
He said: “Having the house meant my family and friends could stay close. Even though I was far away from home, I didn’t feel isolated because of CLIC Haven.
“I hope everyone backs this campaign to support other families in a new home, it means so much to have your family close and staying for free means you don’t worry so much about their financial stress.”
To donate to CLIC Sargent’s appeal text “HOME” to 70020 to donate £3 or donate online.
For more information, visit our Moving house in Southampton section.