Family share anguish to raise awareness for charity in need of support

A Carlisle family whose ten week old baby was rushed to Newcastle for lifesaving treatment are sharing their story to help raise awareness of The Sick Children’s Trust’s emergency fundraising appeal to help keep families together.
During these unprecedented and uncertain times, the charity which receives no government funding needs the public’s support now more than ever. It costs £2.2 million to run The Sick Children’s Trust’s ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country and the charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to meet this cost. With events being cancelled and the charity’s valued supporters not being able to fundraise in their usual way, The Sick Children’s Trust needs your support now more than ever.
Parents Amanda Welsh and Dan Monkhouse know all too well just how vital The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’ are as in 2018 they were given a place to stay when their son, Joshua, was critically ill. At ten weeks old Joshua was rushed from Cumberland Infirmary to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) when he became seriously ill with bronchiolitis. For four days he remained on a ventilator, received antibiotics and had daily suctions to get rid of the secretions in his lungs. During their nine day stay in Newcastle, Amanda and Dan were given a place to stay by The Sick Children’s Trust at its ‘Home from Home’ Crawford House. Amanda said:
“When we arrived at Newcastle, Joshua was taken to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). It was a Sunday and I didn’t leave his side until I was told I had to. Having somewhere to stay didn’t cross my mind. I just thought I’d be able to be with Joshua while he was so poorly – but I couldn’t be all the time.
“I’d never heard of Crawford House until a lovely lady came over to the ward and told us she worked for a charity called The Sick Children’s Trust which ran the ‘Home from Home’. As we walked around Crawford House, which was only a couple of minutes from PICU, we felt reassured. The staff were so nice and welcoming. The first thing we were shown in our room was a phone which dialled straight to the ward. This meant we could speak to Joshua’s nurses whatever the time of day.

“A child suddenly becoming ill can happen to any parent at any time. We needed the help of The Sick Children’s Trust, like so many other families we met at Crawford House. If Crawford House wasn't there some of these families, with all those children on intensive care, would’ve had to travel for miles to be with their babies when they were so sick as you can't stay on the ward. We will never forget the help we received. The Sick Children’s Trust takes one little worry away at a very worrying and stressful time. We were lucky to have their help and will be forever grateful.”

The Sick Children’s Trust supports around 3,500 families every year by giving families a place to stay. It costs the charity £30 to support a family for one night. Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive at The Sick Children’s Trust, said:

“It is a worrying and uncertain time for everyone and there are many challenges we are all facing but for families with seriously ill child in hospital there is even more worry and uncertainty.

“The Sick Children’s Trust can continue to be there for families with sick children in hospital like Joshua’s, but we can’t do it alone. Without vital donations we cannot do this. With your kind donation, we can be there so that families can be together. We want to give them a safe place to stay close to their child. £30 is what it takes but any amount you can give will greatly help.”
To donate to The Sick Children’s Trust, visit

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Sick Children's Trust, on Tuesday 21 April, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow

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Family share anguish to raise awareness for charity in need of support