Leeds charity helps fund 'home from home' hospital accommodation for families of poorly children

A Leeds charity has handed over the latest donation in its long-running campaign to support the city’s ‘home from home’ hospital accommodation Eckersley House.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 4:45 am

The house, on Belmont Road, gives families with children at Leeds Children’s Hospital a place to stay just minutes from their loved one’s hospital bedside.

Run by the Sick Children’s Trust, it has 22 family bedrooms, eight bathrooms and direct telephone lines to hospital wards in all bedrooms, as well as three communal kitchens, living rooms and two play rooms.

Leeds’ Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) this week handed over £20,000 to go towards refurbishing the house’s bathroom suites and general running costs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

From left, Jane McHale (House Manager Eckersley House), Sheila Keenaghan (House Keeper Eckersley House), Lisa Williams (Senior Community Fundraiser Children's Heart Surgery Fund) and Ellie Brown, (Fundraising Manager Children's Heart Surgery Fund). Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Fund has given around £560,000 to Eckersley House since 2010 as part of its mission to support the city’s congenital heart unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

As well as supporting family accommodation, the charity also helps the unit by providing medical equipment, ward facilities and staff training.

Sharon Milner, the CEO of CHSF said: “CHSF is committed to providing support for families of patients with congenital heart disease, and Eckersley House absolutely fits the bill.

“We know that having parents close by can aid the recovery time in young patients and the stay can last for weeks or even months.

“Giving worried parents the time and space to recharge is absolutely vital, and we couldn’t be more delighted to give another grant to this wonderful parent retreat.”

Despite the pandemic, Eckersley House supported 69 families of young heart patients between July 2020 and June 2021.

In addition to supporting families with children on the heart unit, Eckersley House accommodates families of patients with all sorts of serious illness, and in a typical year houses up to 500 families.

Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of The Sick Children’s Trust, said: “Families from across Yorkshire and beyond come to Leeds for lifesaving treatment for their child and rely on our ‘Home from Home’ to keep them close to their child.

“CHSF’s continuous support helps us to make sure that we can be there, giving them a comfortable place to stay, so that they can be together. “

She said the refurbishment work is expected to be completed in the autumn.

*YEP's Have a Heart campaign

The CHSF has supported the congenital heart unit for over 30 years, since its formation in 1988.

Last year, the Yorkshire Evening Post launched a Have a Heart campaign to help the Children's Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) reach its £1m target for donations.

CHSF helps fund vital equipment for the unit as well as supporting patients and their families.

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic hit, CHSF was forced to issue an urgent plea for donations after losing a "significant portion" of its yearly income.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.