Moving talk spurs ladies on to help appeal

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

A LADIES’ group decided to support The Sick Children’s Trust’s Branching Out appeal - after being given a moving talk by the manager of one of the charity’s homes for poorly youngsters.

Ecclesfield Ladies’ Group were visited by Ann Wyatt, manager of the trust’s Treetop House, and resolved to raise money for the worthy cause.

The Branching Out Appeal will raise funds to build a new 11 bedroom house on the site of Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The charity needs to raise £980,000 to build the new house, which will provide accommodation for families of sick children being treated in hospital.

The 36 members from Ecclesfield Ladies’ Group invited house manager Ann to speak late last year about the work of the charity.

Irene Proctor, chairlady, from the group said: “We’re really impressed by Ann and the work of the charity not only in the Yorkshire region but all across the UK too.

“Every year we choose a charity to donate a sum to and this year, what with The Sick Children’s Trust in great need with their £980,000 fundraising appeal, we couldn’t think of a better cause.

“When our group was first formed 46 years ago it was originally a mums’ group, so children’s charities have always been close to our heart, but as the age of the members got older we decided to change the name.

“However, a lot of our members are grandmas too so we still have a soft spot for charities which support the family even now.”

Irene added: “The thought of one of my grandchildren being alone in hospital is unbearable, and before we met Ann we weren’t even aware of the situation that some families are put in with the lack of hospital accommodation.”

The organisation managed to raise £250 towards the appeal.

Ecclesfield Ladies’ Group meets every Thursday, and holds different events on alternate weeks, such as speakers and coffee evenings where members can sit and talk, have a discussion or a quiz.

During the year they also have outings and a summer party, as well as other activities.

Ann Wyatt, House Manager at Treetop House, the charity’s existing ‘Home from Home’ added: “I am delighted by the generosity of this ladies’ group and the money raised will go towards a great cause.”

The Sick Children’s Trust is creating a second home in two hospital properties in Northumberland Road so that an extra 300 families a year can stay there.

The appeal has passed the halfway point thanks to a wide range of fundraising activities across the Sheffield region.

A start is due to be made soon on converting the building, which will have a direct link to the Children’s Hospital, and which will be completed as part of plans for the hospital’s wider redevelopment.

The home will provide families with up to three en-suite bedrooms, a communal lounge, kitchen and dining area. There will also be recreational facilities for infants and teenagers.

One glazed structure will link the two Victorian-style detached properties in Northumberland Road and another will create direct access to the hospital with a high level of security.

Log on to to get involved in the appeal or to donate funds.