Health Minister Edwin Poots has thrown his support behind the Belfast Telegraph’s Christmas Appeal — praising its work in trying to ease the difficulties for children battling cancer and their families.
As reader donations roll in, the Stormont minister wished the fundraising drive in support of the CLIC Sargent Homes from Home appeal well.
Northern Ireland is currently the only part of the UK which doesn’t have a CLIC Sargent Home from Home, providing sanctuary to children and their family while undergoing cancer treatment.
The children’s cancer charity needs a total of £3.7m to build two respite centres close to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Belfast City Hospital.
The centres, to be built by 2014, will offer a homely base to families as their child undergoes treatment, easing the stress and financial burden of travelling.
The Belfast Telegraph’s Christmas Appeal aims to contribute £50,000 towards the overall goal and we are urging readers to help hit the target.
Mr Poots (right) praised the efforts of everyone involved.
The DUP man said: “I am aware that CLIC Sargent have announced their plans to provide two Homes from Home in Belfast for the families of children suffering from cancer and would like to pass on my best wishes and support to CLIC Sargent and the Belfast Telegraph for their Christmas fundraising campaign.
“I know that all the families who will use this valuable service will be very grateful for the facilities which will allow them to ensure the crucially important continuation of family support for their loved one.”
He also spoke of the importance of supporting young cancer patients in Northern Ireland and highlighted the array of groups which are working to support sick children and their loved ones.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all those organisations in the voluntary sector who work so hard on behalf of sick children. We are committed to working in partnership to provide the best services we can for young patients,” he added.
Each of the buildings will have four family en suite bedrooms with shared kitchens, lounges, playrooms, teenagers’ room, laundry facilities and outside space.
On Friday, Belfast Telegraph staff helped bump up the fundraising total with a bake sale at our Royal Avenue office.
Culinary queen Jenny Bristow was the guest of honour as staff dug deep to support the appeal.
The event was an example of one of the many ways readers can help raise cash for CLIC Sargent.
We are urging readers to get involved by coming up with ideas for a fundraiser in your workplace.
You could have an office party in aid of the appeal, a dress up or dress down day at work, carol singing, a sweepstake, a quiz night or a sponsored walk or cycle.
Ways to donate
- Online at virginmoney giving.com/BelfastTelegraphChristmasAppeal
- Text CLIC04£ followed by the amount to 70070
- Post cheques payable to CLIC Sargent to CLIC Sargent, Belfast Telegraph Christmas Appeal, 31 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD. Credit/debit card donations can be accepted by telephone on 028 9072 5780.