A charity that supports families of sick children by giving them somewhere to stay just minutes from their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside has received a £10,000 donation from the Harrison Foundation, in partnership with True Potential.
The Sick Children’s Trust provides a ‘Homes from Home’ service at Crawford House for families with a seriously ill child at The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. The house staff and the warm communal areas make sure that there’s a friendly ear to listen when families need it.
Following an earlier donation in 2008 from the Harrison Foundation, this latest grant has enabled the Sick Children’s Trust to fit new carpets throughout Crawford House, to continue to provide a warm and comfortable environment and improve families’ well-being, while they spend valuable time with their child and provide vital care to help them recover in hospital.
True Potential Chief Executive and Harrison Foundation trustee, Daniel Harrison, visited Crawford House to see the completed work and saw the impact of the donation. A new full stairway carpet has been fitted on the main staircase including landings and on landings outside all bedrooms. The staircase had been recently decorated, but the carpets, which had not been able to be replaced due to Covid lockdowns, were damaged.
Speaking after the visit, Daniel said: “I was delighted to visit Crawford House and meet the team who do such a fantastic job at the Sick Children’s Trust. I can see the works have made a huge difference, not just to the look of Crawford House but also how homely it is for the families, who are often away from home for long periods.
“The Sick Children’s Trust is exactly the kind of charity the Harrison Foundation looks to support. Through their Home from Home facilities, they are providing a vital, practical service to the families of children at what is a difficult time in their lives. I’m glad we could help to make those families stays at Crawford House a little more comfortable and it was great to see the completed works today.”
Sick Children’s Trust House Manager, Andrew Leadbitter, said “We are so grateful to the Harrison Foundation for this kind and generous donation of £10,000 towards our ‘Home from Home’ Crawford House for families with a seriously ill child at The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
“The stairway looks lifted and a lot lighter. The first impressions are important obviously and it looks bright and airy now. It is also nicer underfoot as families walk from the bedrooms to bathrooms at night often barefoot, so it is nice that they are not hard floors anymore.”
The impact of the Harrison Foundation’s support has been to ensure the ‘Home from Home’ is maintained to a high standard, and that families feel safe and have access to all the essential facilities they need. Since August 2021, the Sick Children’s Trust has accommodated 184 families at Crawford House, and demand has been consistently high.
Families who have stayed in the Home from Home were asked about how they benefited.
- 100% reported that the opportunity to stay in a ‘Home from Home’ helped them to cope
- 99% reported that being close by was beneficial for the child’s wellbeing and recovery
- 95% said they benefited from being able to keep a sense of normality while staying in the ‘Home from Home’
- 100% of families said that they would you recommend The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ to other families in a similar situation
One family said: “It’s a very hard, stressful, worrying and emotional time and the thought of having to be away from your child whilst they are in intensive care is very frightening and most parents will not leave their child. Having a room at Crawford House really helped to lessen our stress and anxiety being so close to our child being just moments away.”
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