Supporting local families of Children with Cancer

by Sarah harrison in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th October 2020 we successfully raised £11,583 ( + est. £311.25 Gift Aid ) with 417 supporters in 42 days

Supporting Children with Cancer in Sheffield and surrounding areas by doing whatever we can to make their families journey easier.

by Sarah harrison in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Our ambition is to fund the parents room on the ward refurbishment so that it's a multifunctional room that we could start to have coffee mornings inside the hospital with the parents that can't attend the ones at the house and where they can have a much needed coffee break. We would also like to look at doing activities for the parents such as pamper days and health activities like yoga or Pilates. We want to create an environment that is a comfortable inviting space that parents and carers can come to with other like minded individuals.


Meet the team

We are a small independent Children's Cancer charity based within the Sheffield Children's Hospital. We have 4 paid members of staff that do the day to day running of the charity. We have a full time House Manager/Support Co Ordinator  (Beryl) who is responsible for the running of the charity and our house. We have a part time Support Co Ordinator (this is me, Sarah) who assists with the day to day running of the charity and facilitates all social media platforms. There is also a part time Clerical officer (Nicola) that undertakes all admin duties including all the financial aspects of the charity and we have a part time house keeper (Julie) that ensures the house is always ready to welcome new families.

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Beryl                       Sarah                       Nicola                  Julie

The charity also has 13 strong trustees made up of a wide variety of people including some parents that have first hand experience about what difference Pact can make.

How we support our families

We have a 5 bedroom en-suite house located just up from the hospital where families can stay while their children are inpatients as many of them live far away from the hospital. It has a home from home feel and gives them somewhere to escape to when things are getting too much. It offers a communal kitchen where parents can cook their child's favourite  meal or make that much needed coffee.  If a child is able to leave hospital for a few hours then Pact House offers a warm safe environment where the children can relax and enjoy some much needed playtime. 

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Offering trips and treats on a regular basis to the whole family is one of the core things we do.  Often families find themselves in financial difficulty through having additional travelling and food costs to some being unable to work whilst their children are receiving treatment. The trips give them memories to treasure forever without worrying about the financial cost.

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We have Christmas parties for the younger children and take the older children ten pin bowling.

Daily we order and deliver parents that are on the ward some lunch so they don't have to leave their child's bedside, due to the pandemic and restrictions in the hospital we have been delivering care packages instead.

Our holiday homes 

We also have two holiday homes which families can use, one for on treatment families and one for off treatment and bereaved families as sadly some of our children do not survive. The caravans give the families much needed family time away.

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Emotional support

We host a parents support group on a monthly basis where parents/carers and grandparents can come together to discuss how they are feeling.  On a monthly basis we host a Hospital bereavement coffee morning for any family that has lost child, not just from cancer. 

Patient experience

Any refurbishment projects that the hospital may do that make it a better experience for our families is something we always try and support.

Over the last few years we raised over £753,000 to build a new outpatients clinic within the hospital, this has made a huge difference not only to the families but to the nursing staff that can now work in a bright and spacious environment making the whole  experience more comfortable for everybody. Below is the old clinic and the new clinic room.

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Our ambition

This year our ambition is to raise £200,000 to help fund part of the cancer ward refurbishment project creating a unique space with the latest air filtration system which will bring together all the things parents need whilst staying in the hospital with their child. Parents need a space to take time out to gather their thoughts and feelings. We want to create an inviting environment that can be multifunctional with a place to cook and a place where we can all gather to give each other the much needed support. It's important that we can secure future funding so we can keep on doing the events we do to give the families something to look forward to as well as trying to create a great environment for when they are inpatients. 

We have no paid fundraisers and the majority of our donations are received from family and friends of the families we have supported.

We have been hit hard due to the current coronavirus situation these last few  months and have seen a decrease in the amount of donations we receive.

Any money raised will go towards our £200,000 target for the parents room if we were to exceed this it  will be placed in our general account so that we can use it across all the platforms of support that we offer.

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