Members may well recall that some tine ago we donated £10,000 to CLIC SARGENT for their “Homes from Homes” appeal. At the time of our donation they were working on Paul’s House to provide better facilities for families whose children were being treated for cancer and Kate Lee, the Chief Executive of CLIC SARGENT, wrote as follows:
“Dear members of the Worshipful Company of Constructors,
I want to give my sincere and heartfelt thanks to you all for your generous £10,000 donation to our Paul’s House refurbishment project. Every penny will be spent on helping children and young people with cancer and their families have a place to stay together for many years to come.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer in the UK they are treated in specialist centres in cities like London, so families often have to travel hundreds of miles for many months while their child is undergoing treatment. At a time when parents should only have to focus on their child’s treatment, they’re worrying about the logistics and costs of travel to hospital, and where they’re going to stay to be close to their child.
CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home are a haven for families and entirely funded by kind donations like yours. The Homes are completely free to stay and a ‘slipper walk’ away from specialist treatment hospitals, helping families avoid the extra financial burdens of travel, accommodation and food costs and crucially to stay together.
After ten years of continuous service to hundreds of families receiving cancer treatment at UCLH and Great Ormond Street Hospitals in London, we have to temporarily close our Home from Home Paul’s House in London for vital refurbishment. This work; caused both by the age of the building and years of wear and tear, cannot be avoided and is becoming increasingly important and time sensitive to get it back to its best. This comes as we know the demand for Paul’s House will only increase with new specialist treatments like London’s first Proton Beam Therapy Centre opening next year, which means more families travelling to the capital.
Families love Paul’s House and often tell us they simply don’t know what they would have done without it, but we know it’s not perfect. Originally two houses on Huntley Street in central London the building has 16 bedrooms including 4 accessible rooms serviced by a lift, shared kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces – but there are several issues, such as poor ventilation, regularly being mentioned. We need to do major work to the roof and insulation [as well as ensuring] that we can maintain the extremely high hygiene levels needed for children on cancer treatment to safely stay with the rest of their family.
But we have to fundraise for every penny of the costs of these necessary works and thanks to the donation from the Worshipful Company of Constructors, CLIC Sargent can make the most of this time and more improvements to Paul’s House like redecorating bedrooms and kitchens, to support families for many years to come.
Your generosity will make such an incredible difference. I would also like to personally thank Mike Parrett Master of The Worshipful Company of Constructors for his kindness donating 50% of the proceeds of his upcoming book to CLIC Sargent. I look forward to welcoming members of The Worshipful Company [of Constructors] to Paul’s House in the near future.”