Ward Hadaway Partner Tim Craig has joined the board of trustees for national charity The Sick Children’s Trust, which runs free ‘Homes from Home’ accommodation for families with critically ill children in hospital.
Tim Craig, who is a Partner and Head of the Construction and Engineering Team at law firm Ward Hadaway, has specialised in construction law for 23 years and has considerable expertise advising charities.
The Sick Children’s Trust has ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country based at specialist children’s hospitals. Three of these are in cities where Ward Hadaway offices are based.
There are two ‘Homes from Home’ in Newcastle upon Tyne – Scott House at Freeman Hospital and Crawford House at the RVI and Great North Children’s Hospital. A third, Eckersley House, is based at Leeds Children’s Hospital, supporting families from Yorkshire and beyond.
Every year the charity provides vital emotional and practical support to over 4,000 families while their children undergo life-saving treatment in hospital. This support is offered free of charge and the charity relies entirely upon voluntary donations to run its services.
Tim will be donating his time as a trustee to help ensure the efficient running of the organisation, while also providing leadership on future construction projects, one of which is planned to be in Newcastle.
The charity is currently in discussions with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about the expansion of Crawford House to support families of children with compromised immune systems.
These children suffer from something called SCID, which stands for severe combined immunodeficiency, and is a rare genetic disorder that leaves them unable to fight common infections. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant.
This has a lengthy recovery, and there are only two specialist centres in the UK which treat children, one of which is the Great North Children’s Hospital. Consequently, the children and their families need purpose-built accommodation, based at the hospital, which The Sick Children’s Trust hopes to provide.
Plans for the new project are currently being drawn up and Tim is providing expert advice as part of the project management team.
Tim recently visited both Scott House and Crawford House, taking time to meet staff and find out about the experiences of families whose children are undergoing treatment on the Children’s Heart Unit.
Tim says: "I am delighted to be appointed as a trustee of the Sick Children's Trust. It's hugely exciting and worthwhile and I am looking forward to working closely with the team and helping out with all the good work they do. It's great to be able to use my legal knowledge and specialist construction expertise to be able to help the community in this way.”
One Mum who is currently staying at Scott House is Leeander Barrett, whose daughter Zariah has just undergone a heart transplant. Their story also features in this month’s BBC Lifeline appeal, airing on Sunday 21 January.
Leeander Barrett says: “Scott House is just a few minutes’ walk from the heart unit. It can be the hardest thing in the world to leave Zariah, but I feel comfortable leaving her side to try and get some sleep at Scott House because I know there’s a direct telephone line in my room if the nurses need to contact me – or if I need to contact them. I am literally just a phone call away.”
Tim Craig joins twelve other committed trustees who are working to fulfil the charity’s mission to support 5,000 families by 2021. The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House SCID project in Newcastle will be essential to this.
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of The Sick Children’s Trust, says: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Tim Craig of Ward Hadaway on board as a trustee.
In the short time since his appointment, we have already benefitted from Tim’s sound advice and knowledge of construction law. I feel confident having him by my side as we enter a new development phase for the charity.
Tim has a clear passion for our work and the families we support and brings fresh ideas to our governance. I look forward to working with him in the future.”
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please click here.
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.