Posted on Monday 2 August 2021

in Morrisons news, News, Press releases

Charity’s new Manchester ‘Home from Home’ will give young cancer patients and their families a free place to stay during treatment, thanks to Morrisons

The UK’s leading children’s cancer charity, Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent), will open a brand new ‘Home from Home’ in Manchester in January 2022, thanks to funds raised by Morrisons.

Located on Palatine Road in Didsbury, the Home from Home will provide free accommodation for young adults aged 17 – 25 receiving cancer treatment, and their families.

Young Lives vs Cancer is in the last year of its successful, five-year partnership with Morrisons. The partnership has raised more than a staggering £15 million.

The Home will help families from across the UK avoid the extra financial burdens of travel, accommodation and food costs. It will also allow young cancer patients to be close to their loved ones, keeping the family together at a difficult time.

Young Lives vs Cancer currently has 10 Homes from Home close to hospitals in eight cities in the UK but none in the north of the country. The closest is in Nottingham, nearly 100 miles away.

The new Home from Home will be named ‘Jack’s House’ after 13-year-old Jack Thompson from Sunderland. Young Lives vs Cancer supported Jack after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just a baby, which left him partially sighted. To date, Jack has raised £120,000 for the charity, with a large amount of this being raised in Morrisons’ stores as Jack loves to visit Morrisons Community Champions and help them with their fundraising.

The Home from Home will have nine bedrooms and multiple communal areas so families can feel like they have their own space while staying there. The building was previously offices and works are well underway to convert the premises into Young Lives vs Cancer accommodation.

Young Lives vs Cancer’s Head of High Value Fundraising, Julie Millar, said: “We know what a huge difference our Homes from Home make to the young people and families we support. They travel on average 60 miles each time a young person receives treatment so staying in one of our Homes close to specialist treatment centres immediately lifts this heavy burden.

“We are incredibly grateful to Morrisons colleagues, customers and suppliers for all their support throughout our five-year partnership. Thanks to the funds they raise in this final year, 140 families will benefit annually from staying at Jack’s House.”

Andy Atkinson, Group Commercial Director at Morrisons, said: “Almost five years ago Morrisons colleagues decided that we should work with Young Lives vs Cancer. Since then our colleagues and customers have raised over £15m. We’re incredibly proud of their tireless efforts, especially in the final year of our partnership which has made Jack’s House a reality. We know how vital a home from home is to families fighting cancer, and to name this one after Jack has made this really special.”

Visiting the site of the Manchester Home from Home for the first time on Thursday, Jack Thompson said, “I’m so excited that Morrisons chose the name ‘Jack’s House’ – it means a lot to me! The Home from Home will mean that families have a place to stay in Manchester whilst their child is having cancer treatment.”

Watch Jack unveil the name of Young Lives vs Cancer’s new Home from Home in a video here

Young people have been involved in the project since the start, last year taking part in a group session discussing what they would like to see in the house. One teenager involved in the consultation was 18-year-old Hollie Knowles (pictured below) from Darwen who would have really benefitted from staying in Jack’s House. Hollie was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2019 after a cancerous tumour was found on her pelvis. Her treatment involved a lot of travelling to and from hospital – each hour-long journey from her home near Blackburn was extremely painful.

“I came to dread those journeys to hospital and got to a point where I thought, ‘Do I even want to get in the car?’” recalls Hollie, “I could feel every bump in the road – I was in an excruciating amount pain.

“If I’d been able to stay at a Home from Home in Manchester it would have made me feel more safe and more secure. It’s just small things like the homely aspects that make a really big difference. The fact that not every room is a carbon copy of the next and that it feels like a home. Having things like a games room, a little book corner, that almost seem insignificant but they make a massive difference when you’ve lost everything else.”

Young Lives vs Cancer has been in partnership with Morrisons since 2017 and together they have been able to support thousands of families as they face the fear a childhood cancer diagnosis brings. The partnership ends in January 2022 and all the money raised from this final year will fund the opening of the Manchester Home from Home and five years’ running costs.


– Ends

Notes to Editor

About cancer in children and young people

Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About Young Lives vs Cancer

When a child is diagnosed with cancer life becomes full of fear, for them and their family. Fear of treatment, but also of families being torn apart, overwhelming money worries, of having nowhere to turn, no one to talk to.

At Young Lives vs Cancer, we help families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them.

Powered by the kindness of our supporters, we’ll face it all together. For more information, visit www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk

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