Why are we renovating a cottage?

We are absolutely delighted to be chosen by the Lord Mayor as her charity for what will be an incredibly exciting year for Candlelighters. This will have a major impact on the renovation of the Candlelighters Cottage.

Our families tell us that staying in hospital can be a traumatic and scary experience for a child and having their loved ones there to comfort them and to add a sense of normality to their lives is invaluable. Families come to Leeds Children’s Hospital from a huge area in which it would be impossible to travel home each night; this can have a massive financial impact on families with the costs of travel or accommodation.

The current home from home provision has an average of ten families on a waiting list each night and this means that a parent is either away from the child with cancer or away from their sibling(s) for extended periods of time. To help more families be together, at what is a very upsetting and distressing time, we are launching our Candlelighters Cottage Appeal to enable us to extend the services we offer to families by providing extra family accommodation.

Our newly purchased cottage is just a stone’s throw away from Leeds Children’s Hospital and will provide family rooms to ensure that children with cancer can have both their mum and dad with them and their siblings too. The Cottage will provide a family with their own private bedroom that is a quiet and calm place to get a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed. A well-rested parent is an asset to a child’s care as it puts them in a much better position to support their child, comfort and entertain them during the day.

Currently in the pre-planning stages, the Candlelighters Cottage will provide huge benefits for children with cancer and their families, but we need to raise a massive £500,000 to cover the total cost of purchasing and refurbishing the cottage. With half of this secured already through match funding, we really need support from the Leeds community to raise a further £250,000 to enable us to ensure families can stay together when they most need one another, with children having family by their side throughout their treatment.

Every penny donated to the Lord’s Mayor Appeal will go towards the refurbishment of the Candlelighters Cottage, moving us a step nearer to achieving our dream of offering ordinary families, facing extraordinary circumstances, the chance to stand together in their fight against cancer.

You can watch the video of designs for the Candlelighters Cottage here.

 

 

 

 

The vision for our Candlelighters Cottage:

 

  • We will provide a family with their own private bedroom that is a quiet and calm place where they can get a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed.

 

  • We will ensure that every bedroom is linked to the wards via a telephone by the bed so parents are never more than a couple of minutes from their child’s side.

 

  • We will provide access to vital amenities in the Cottage’s shared areas, including a kitchen diner, lounge, garden space and laundry facilities, all available for families to use whenever they need.

 

  • We will provide a range of support services at The Square for families staying at the Cottage, which is just a very short walk away.

 

  • We will enable children with cancer staying in hospital the chance to have both their mum and dad there to comfort them and to add a sense of normality to their lives, as well as their siblings too.

 

  • We will offer parents a chance to get a full night’s sleep away from the ward to recharge their batteries.

 

  • We will provide a comfortable and homely place for children who are well enough to leave the ward during a break in their treatment to visit and spend time with their family; playing with siblings, watching TV together or sharing a family meal around the table.

 

  • We will enable parents to be together to support one another practically and emotionally, during what can be very upsetting, stressful and isolating days.

 

  • We will offer the opportunity for families to use the shared areas to interact with other families in a similar position, gaining strength from sharing stories and confidences, forming sometimes life-long friendships and support networks.

 

  • We will help to alleviate some of a family’s financial concerns and at least some of their worries.

 

If you would like to find out more about our Candlelighters Cottage Campaign please email us at info@candlelighters.org.uk.

To find out more about the Lord Mayor of Leeds please click here.

 

To make an online donation to the Candlelighters Cottage Campaign please click here.

 

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