Amy’s House, located within walking distance of the Belfast City Hospital and Cancer Centre, will provide free accommodation for 16-24 year olds undergoing treatment for cancer, and their families.
The house name is a tribute to Amy Reid, 20, from Newtownards, whose family have campaigned and fundraised tirelessly for CLIC Sargent since she died from metastatic melanoma in February 2013, raising more than £35,000 for the charity.
Her father, Mark, said:
“Amy’s strength and the way she faced her greatest challenge was inspirational to so many. CLIC Sargent were a fantastic help. They were just always there for us."
He continued: “To hear that the house will have her name was beyond words. I know that CLIC Sargent cares about all of the people it looks after and it is special to have all of these names in this house, which will help so many people.”
Rooms throughout the new facility have also been given names of young people who were supported by CLIC Sargent. Sorcha Glenn, 23, Andrew Fitzsimmons, 23, and Sophie Strutt, 19, will all be remembered with rooms in the house.
Another room will be named Zac, after the baby of patient Nathan Shire, who did not expect to be able to have children following his treatment. A former CLIC Sargent patient chose to name another room Brigid, as in Celtic mythology Brigid was a goddess who brought healing, nurturing and hospitality. Another room will be called Hope, following a suggestion by another former patient.
Amy’s House is the second Home from Home to be opened by CLIC Sargent in Belfast. Paul’s House, which caters for families being treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, was opened by the charity in February 2014.
Cecilia Milburn, CLIC Sargent UK Home from Home manager, said: “We are very excited to open Belfast’s second Home from Home in 2016. This new facility will provide much needed accommodation for families under huge emotional and financial strain.
“Families in Northern Ireland make an average round trip of 95 miles, up to five times a week, to access the cancer treatment their child needs. The Homes from Home can make a huge difference for these families.
“Every family who has been supported by CLIC Sargent is an important part of the charity’s identity and we wanted to reflect this in the new home.
“This home wouldn’t exist without the dedication of our fundraisers and the generosity of our donors and supporters. We want to thank everyone for their contributions and support.”
Facilities at Amy’s House include five large en-suite bedrooms, a shared lounge and kitchen space, a quiet room, a young people’s room, outdoor space and roof terrace. It will be opening in January 2016.