Yesterday, families staying at Eckersley House, The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ at the LGI, celebrated its 4th birthday with a tea and cake. House Manager Jane, alongside staff Jude, Caroline and Sheila, arranged the get together and were thrilled so many families popped along to enjoy the fun.
Eckersley House provides free, high-quality accommodation, as well as emotional and practical support, for families with seriously ill children being treated at the hospital. It has 22 bedrooms with direct phone lines to the wards, alongside comfortable living areas and well-stocked playrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms and laundry facilities and supports over 500 families every year. It also has a self-contained transplant flat to help ease the transition between hospital and home for children undergoing lifesaving renal transplants. The original house was opened in 1993, but today families stay at its new location, just minutes from the children’s wards.
Jane McHale, Eckersley House Manager, says: "It was lovely to stop for tea and cake with so many of the wonderful families we support. It’s a true celebration of the difference that Eckersley makes to the hundreds of families who pass through our doors every year. We know having somewhere comfortable to stay is so important for families facing the most difficult times imaginable. The house becomes a safe haven, somewhere to go to escape for a few hours, have a lie down or fix a meal. We were pleased hospital staff, families and friends dropped in and want to say a big thank you to everyone who sent their birthday wishes."
Adele Fox, who is currently staying in the house, said “It’s great to celebrate such a fantastic place. The support that Eckersley has provided has just been phenomenal. As we live in Glasgow, we would have been lost without their help.”
Charlotte Crowther, whose son Oscar is currently being treated at St James’s, added “It takes so much stress out of having to travel back and forward to the hospital from home. Oscar’s treatment is very debilitating, so it’s great to have somewhere where we can be close-by.”
Eckersley House is funded entirely by voluntary donations. It costs £28 to provide a room for one family for one night and the house supports families from across Yorkshire and beyond, enabling them to stay by their child’s side during their hospital treatment.