Local charity worker recognised as unsung hero in the happy list 2019
A Cambridge charity worker has been awarded a place on this year’s Independent Happy List for her dedication and commitment to families with seriously ill children in hospital.
Abi Abdel-aal, who works for The Sick Children’s Trust, has been selected to feature as one of just 50 people on The Happy List. Abi, who has been working for the charity since 2014, plays a vital role in supporting families with seriously ill children at Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie Hospitals by providing care and support to them while their child is seriously ill.
The Sick Children’s Trust is the charity that gives over 3,500 families with a seriously ill child in hospital a warm and comfortable place to stay when they need it most. Across England, the charity runs ten ‘Homes from Home’, two of which are located in Cambridge. Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust, Jane Featherstone, said:
“Abi is House Manager in our two ‘Homes from Home’ Acorn and Chestnut Houses in Cambridge, giving families with a seriously ill child in hospital a warm and comfortable place to stay and a friendly ear to listen.
“Having joined the charity in 2014, Abi has always been one of the charity’s most dedicated team members but in the last year she has gone beyond the call of duty. Abi ran the houses single handedly - supporting 784 families last year. Thanks to her, no family lacked the vital support they needed while waiting for their child to get better.
“Not only did Abi ensure the smooth running of the charity’s ‘Homes from Home’ during this time, she also did an incredible job passionately fundraising for The Sick Children’s Trust, raising £192,000. Everyone at The Sick Children’s Trust is delighted her hard work has been recognised and we’re sure all the families she has supported will join us in celebrating this incredible achievement.”
It costs The Sick Children’s Trust £30 to support a family for one night. £30 gives a family so much more than just a roof over their heads when their child is in hospital. £30 gives them someone to talk to, and a calm place to rest with their family. Acorn and Chestnut House Manager Abi said:
“When I heard I’d been selected for The Happy List I was quite shocked but also over the moon! I love my job and it is so rewarding to be in a position where I know I’m making some difference to families who are going through difficult times, by giving them a place to stay and a hug when they need it.”
To view The Happy List, visit: www.independent.co.uk/happylist
- Children, Child care
- the rosie hospital
- addenbrooke's hospital
- chestnut house
- acorn house
The Sick Children’s Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas. They believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child's recovery.
Today we have ten ‘Homes from Home’ at major hospitals around the country where families can stay free of charge.
Every year we help around 4,000 families, but there is a growing demand for our ‘Homes from Home’ as children must increasingly travel long distances to get the specialist treatment they need.
We are working to a future where every family with a seriously ill child in hospital will be able to stay together, just minutes from their child’s bed during their treatment.