Helping families stay together

House Manager Linsey Brough receives a cheque from LP Richard Nash.
House Manager Linsey Brough receives a cheque from LP Richard Nash.

Morpeth Lions Club

For six years Morpeth Lions have supported the Sick Children’s Trust (SCT) and its two residential units at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

This summer the trust came to the Lions with an urgent request to help it replace its two industrial microwaves at Scott House in the Freeman Hospital.

Of course, Morpeth Lions came to the trust’s aid and purchased one microwave. The club then secured the purchase of the other microwave from a private source.

The Lions decided it was time they visited Scott House to get a better appreciation of how they can help in the future.

The SCT provides residential accommodation for families with seriously ill children in hospital so that the families can stay together during this difficult time. It is widely accepted that keeping families together aids the sick child’s recovery.

A small group of Lions members were shown round the facility by Linsey Brough, House Manager, and Emily Corney, from the Fund-raising Team.

Scott House has 18 bedrooms for visiting families, as well as a transplant flat where recovering children and their family members can stay to prepare the child to go home.

It has two floors, each with en-suite bedrooms, a kitchen and a rest room. There is also a communal bathroom, meeting room and laundry room.

The bedrooms and communal areas are painted with colours chosen to provide a calming effect, and the kitchens are decorated with bright orange paintwork, designed to stimulate appetite.

The SCT houses are all funded by public donations.

However, there are a number of other common items needed for the everyday running of the facilities.

High on the list is toilet paper. Others items include selected least allergic cleaning products and hand wash, cloths, sponges and paper towels.

Brand new toys and books are also welcome.

Local donations can be specified to be used locally.

The Lions members spent a most interesting time at Scott House.

Lion President Richard Nash said that the visit had been a most worthwhile and interesting one, from which the Lions had learnt a great deal.

He then wished the Sick Children’s Trust all the very best for the future in its invaluable work in helping sick children and their families.

Poignantly, the Morpeth Herald recently featured the benefits derived from Scott House by the family of Lorna and Kevin Pattison prior to the death of their daughter Emily.

Emily suddenly became ill during the school holidays and was admitted for specialist treatment at the Freeman Hospital. The 16-year-old died just two days before she was due to receive her GCSE results.

Her family collected £2,400 for Scott House from donations at Emily’s Service of Thanksgiving.

Kevin is a past member of the Lions Club of Morpeth.