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Thomas Cook Children's Charity ensures families with seriously ill children get a good nigh's sleep

Press release   •   Oct 26, 2015 10:15 GMT

The Sick Children’s Trust was delighted to receive a grant from The Thomas Cook Children’s Charity to fund 26 new mattresses at Treetop House, its ‘Home from Home’ supporting Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The charity, which runs two houses in Sheffield, believes that keeping families together significantly improves the recovery of seriously ill children. Over the last year, Treetop House has supported around 450 families - some of whom have had to travel hours for specialist treatment for their children. Families like the Pettitts, from Leyland, stayed at Treetop House for four weeks while their son, Timmy, underwent treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Mum Barbara says: “When Timmy was ill, there was no way we wouldn’t have been by his side, the problem was there was only room to accommodate one of us at the hospital. The Sick Children’s Trust’s Treetop House was a life-saver. It helped enormously with the strains and pressures of being in the hospital. 

“The first night I stayed, as soon as I put my head down on the pillow I was asleep. Being in a small confined room with Timmy, sleeping on a camp bed was exhausting. To be able to go back to a private room, with a comfy bed in to sleep or even just to lie there and have a cry was amazing and really made me appreciate what the charity does for families.”

The Thomas Cook Children’s Charity donated over £3,000 to The Sick Children’s Trust in order to buy new mattresses for Treetop House to help support families while they are going through the worst of times, and to ensure they are well-rested to face the day ahead. Ann Wyatt, House Manager at The Sick Children's Trust's Treetop House, says: "After a long, emotionally exhausting day on the critical care wards, our families return to Treetop House in need of some rest and recuperation. A hot meal in our dining room or a cup of tea in our comfy lounge helps provide a sense of normality, but it is getting a good night’s sleep which is essential. The Thomas Cook Children's Charity has funded brand new mattresses for each of our 13 family bedrooms, ensuring families return to a comfortable bed providing a restful night’s sleep. That means they can wake feeling refreshed, ready to be there for their seriously ill child. I would like to thank the charity on behalf of every one of the 450 families we support each year. To them, and to The Sick Children’s Trust, the gift of a good night’s sleep is priceless.”

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, for as long as they need whilst their child is undergoing treatment. 

Every year we help around 3,500 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.

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