Editor’s View: Support the great work of Sheffield’s Sick Children’s Trust

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Having a child with a serious illness is devastating for parents.

Having a child with a serious illness is devastating for parents.

After the shock of the initial diagnosis and the coming to terms with what could be a debillitating or life-limiting condition, parents or carers then have to deal with regular medical appointments and stays in hospital.

A parent’s instinct is to be with their poorly child, to love, support and comfort. Everything else goes on hold. Everyday life is on pause.

Often this situation can go on for weeks, months, years.

There are siblings and other family members to care for too, jobs to juggle, a semblance of a normal life to lead.

The practicalities of how to manage this juggling act - long daily treks to hospital, rushed takeaway meals, missed family occasions, insufficinet time to spend with other children - add to the burden on already stressed families.

In Sheffield we are fortunate enough to have one of the UK’s leading children’s hospitals and its expertise means that children are referred to the centre from all over the region, and beyond. Many parents face long journeys to the hospital often for lengthy periods. They do it willingly because they are driven by the expectation of the very best treatment for their children when they make that journey to the children’s hospital.

And this is where Treetop House and Magnolia House come in.

These houses, at the children’s hospital, provide beds, a kitchen, a base, for families at the most worrying times, allowing them to remain close to their little ones.

New mums Sarah, Rebecca and Shameem explain in today’s feature on pages 8 and 9 how much of a help these homes from homes are to them, allowing them to establish a more normal family routine as they cope with the daily challenges of having a very sick child.

Sue Cartwright, who launched Treetop some 15 years ago, used her experience of having a poorly youngster to understand - and deliver - what parents require in their time of need.

Treetop and Magnolia are fantastic facilities. But of course, they come at a price. It costs £160,000 a year to run these much-needed facilities that benefit 80 families a month,

The Sick Children’s Trust that runs Treetop and Magnolia are desperate to raise fund to continue the good work.

It’s easy to support this South YOrkshire great cause. Simply get baking! Either host a chocolate themed tea party of bake sale this month - or tuck in and cough up some cash.

Details of how you can help are on page 9.