Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent, Lorraine Clifton was joined by Ellen Finlayson, CLIC Sargent’s Assistant Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Peter Hollins, CLIC Sargent’s chair of trustees. Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sadie Docherty, also attended as well as eight-year-old Niamh Logan and her dad John Logan who were supported by CLIC Sargent when Niamh was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in April 2009.
As well as giving guests a tour of the new Home from Home, it was also a chance to thank the many supporters who have made this possible.
The Home from Home is called Marion’s House and has been named after Marion O’Gorman, co-founder of the charity Children with Cancer UK that has donated vital funds to CLIC Sargent over the years.
Caroline Blakely, CEO of Children with Cancer UK said: “We are delighted to support Marion’s House in Glasgow. These important facilities provide exceptional support for children, young people and their families when they are in the greatest need.”
A 'slipper walk' from new hospital
The Home from Home is located a ‘slipper walk’ from Glasgow’s newly opened children’s hospital, and will provide families with free self catering accommodation, and a warm, homely environment, allowing them to stay together during this difficult time.
It has 11 en-suite bedrooms with communal kitchens and lounges; an area for young people to relax and meet other young people, and a play area for children.
Ellen Finlayson, CLIC Sargent’s Assistant Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland said: "Travelling to and from hospital while your child has cancer treatment can be exhausting and expensive.
"Marion’s House has been designed to feel just like home, and will give families a place to spend time together, helping to ease some of the stress, and cost associated with childhood cancer.”
Each year around 300 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland. During treatment, which can last up to three years, normal, everyday life is turned upside down with some families in Scotland facing a grueling 60 mile round trip, on average, often many days a week, for their children to receive treatment at a specialist site.
Keeping families together
John Logan, from Blantyre, dad of eight-year-old Niamh Logan said: “CLIC Sargent’s original Home from Home in Glasgow was terrific. I used it for a week when Niamh was first diagnosed."
"The peace of mind of being just around the corner from Niamh when she was in hospital with her mum was on the ward with her – it’s hard to put a value on that.”
The Scotland Homes from Home appeal
CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, launched its £3million Scotland Homes from Home relocation appeal in November 2013 to ensure it can continue to provide free accommodation near the new children’s hospital in Glasgow, and the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh, moving in 2017. It has £1million left to raise.
Marion’s House has been designed to feel just like home, and will give families a place to spend time together.
Marion’s House was constructed by main contractor CBC. The company's Managing Director James McAlpine said: “We are very proud to have worked with CLIC Sargent on the delivery of Marion’s House which will offer support to so many families in very difficult circumstances.
"The location of the facility, in such close proximity to the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children is excellent and, as a local company who have been based in Glasgow for almost 45 years, it’s great to be involved in bringing such a valuable service to the area.”