Two Cambridge charity workers are holding a day of live music, magic, and more to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, which supports families with seriously ill children being treated at Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Hospital.
After the success of their previous ‘Boogie Nights’ event, which raised £1000, The Sick Children’s Trust’s Acorn and Chestnut House Managers, Sandra Peckham and Abi Abdel-aal, will hold a Family Fun Day on Sunday 17 July. The dedicated workers hope to raise even more funds to continue running the two ‘Homes from Home’ and are promising face painting, a bouncy castle, and a raffle at the event at Swavesey Windmill.
On the day, Sandra and Abi will be joined by many families who have been supported by The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’. Families like the Ciampas, who stayed at Acorn House for the first time last May and have since been supported by the free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation another three times. Their son, Dario, now 13 months old, was born with a bowel condition which has meant extensive specialist surgery during his first year of life at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Guy, Dario’s Dad, says:
“Dario went into surgery at two days old where he had a temporary stoma bag fitted to remove the waste from his body. That’s when we were given a room at The Sick Children’s Trust’s Acorn House, just a few minutes’ from his ward. The ‘Home from Home’ was so much more than we had expected. It brought us peace and a little normality – also the staff were so thoughtful and caring which made us feel even more at home.
“We were relieved at how well the procedure went but we were told he would need two further operations. However, all in all it went well and his recovery was very quick. We believe this is because we could be by his side, and because he knew we were there. That was all thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust.
“That’s the most valuable thing, when your child is seriously ill, spending time together and being there for them. Because we were there, it meant he had our energy as well as his own to get better. He knew he wasn’t fighting alone. So now, we will do anything to support The Sick Children’s Trust, our company has made donations to Acorn House, we joined in with Big Chocolate Tea and we love attending the events put on by Sandra and Abi.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, two of which are in Cambridge supporting families with sick children in Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Hospitals. It costs £30 per night to support one family, and the charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to cover this cost. Acorn House Manager Sandra says:
“Our Boogie Night in February was a huge success – it was so nice to see how many people came out to support us, including hospital staff and families who have stayed at our ‘Homes from Home’. The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on donations, so we are hoping to raise even money with this event so we can continue to support families just minutes away from their sick child’s bedside. It’s so important for a child to feel that they are not alone while battling through something so awful.
“We hope the Family Fun Day will make more people aware of the vital support we give to families with children being treated at Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Hospital. We know people often don’t hear about our ‘Homes from Home’ until they need our support. Without Acorn and Chestnut House, many families would have to travel long distances daily and wouldn’t be able to be with their child in an instant if they were needed.”
The event will take place on Sunday 17 July at Swavesey Windmill, 2pm – 6:30pm. Tickets are just £5 for adults, or £3 for children, and are available by calling 01954 232247 or emailing Sandra.Peckham@sickchildrenstrust.org / Abigail@sickchildrenstrust.org.