Family helps appeal

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

A BARNSLEY family is raising money for extra accommodation at Sheffield Children’s Hospital after staying in one of the homes already provided by The Sick Children’s Trust.

It followed the birth of Jacqui Atkinson’s daughter, Connie, who was eight weeks premature.

If this wasn’t frightening enough for Jacqui and her husband, Simon, a few weeks later Connie developed bronchiolitis and spent a week in intensive care at the Children’s Hospital.

With no accommodation provided on the intensive care ward, they were unable to stay with Connie and would have had to travel home to Barnsley every night if had not been for the trust and its accommodation at Treetop House. The family was offered a room that also accommodated their sons, Charlie and Joe.

Jacqui said: ‘If we didn’t have Treetop House then I wouldn’t have been able to see Charlie and Joe as often. I spent all my time at the hospital with Connie or in Treetop

House, so to have them staying in the house too was great.

“We could still spend time together, and it definitely kept us together as a family while helping to maintain some sense of normality. Charlie and Joe were still able to attend school and just returned to Treetop House in the evenings. In this way Treetop House really did become a ‘Home from Home’ to us.”

Connie is now five months old and is doing well, although she still only weighs 9lbs.

As a ‘thank you’ to The Sick Children’s Trust, Jacqui and her family held a coffee morning that raised £324.

The money is going to the trust’s Branching Out Appeal for £980,000 for an 11 bedroom house next to the Children’s Hospital, off Northumberland Road.

For details of the appeal, click on the Branching Out Appeal button on the Telegraph website: www. Fundraiser Samantha Silverwood can be contacted on samantha@sickchildren’, or visit