Former world boxing champion Barry McGuigan was today revealed as Patron of a new charity appeal that aims to raise £4 million to fund ‘Homes from Home’, where families can stay while their child is being treated for cancer.
The appeal will be run by CLIC Sargent, the cancer charity for children and young people, and Barry’s wife Sandra, who is also a Patron of the charity, has been named as Chair of the Appeal Committee.
CLIC Sargent currently runs nine ‘Homes from Home’ across the UK which give families the chance to stay together free of charge close to the hospital where their child is receiving cancer treatment, so that they don’t have to make long and expensive journeys to and from hospital.
The charity plans to open two new ‘Homes from Home’ at safe, convenient locations within walking distance of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and the Belfast City and Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, where young people with cancer are treated. It will officially launch the fundraising appeal later this year.
Every week, two children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland and they will usually travel to Belfast for specialist treatment. CLIC Sargent’s recent report A Long Way From Home found that on average families in Northern Ireland make a round trip of 95 miles, up to five times a week so that their child can access cancer treatment.
Barry McGuigan, Patron of the CLIC Sargent Home from Home Appeal says: “I know first-hand about the vital support CLIC Sargent provides for families affected by childhood cancer, because it helped our family when my daughter Danika was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 11.
“Home from Home accommodation in Belfast will help to reduce the emotional and financial strain for hundreds of families in Northern Ireland, so I’ll be doing whatever I can to encourage people to donate to, or support this appeal”.
Dara de Burca, Director of Services at CLIC Sargent says: “CLIC Sargent already provides a range of services in Northern Ireland for children and young people with cancer, but we know that many families have to travel long distances to access cancer care so we’re delighted to be developing plans for two new Homes from Home.
“CLIC Sargent has almost 30 years’ experience of building and running Homes from Home, so we know that families really value the service and we hope that the public will generously support the appeal.”
The charity will be creating a number of new roles that will work alongside its existing fundraising team in Belfast to manage and promote the appeal.
Every donation to CLIC Sargent’s Home from Home appeal will be used to fund CLIC Sargent’s work in Northern Ireland.
Notes to editors
For more information, an interview or images please contact Nicola Frame on 020 8752 2812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Outside office hours please call 08448 481189.
About childhood cancer
Every week, two children and young people in Northern Ireland are told they have cancer, and diagnosis usually comes as a shock. Treatment normally starts straightaway and can last up to three years. Although survival rates are over 70%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children in the UK.
About CLIC Sargent
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. It provides clinical, practical and emotional support for young cancer patients and their families, from diagnosis onwards. For more information visit www.clicsargent.org.uk
Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.
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