06 Mar 2014

Wheely great fundraising adventure for Cambridge Openreach team

Openreach team from Cambridge 

When they’re not busy with their everyday work, the Openreach team from Cambridge use their free time to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity which provides ‘Home from Home’ accommodation for families who have seriously ill children in hospital..

Not ones to rest on their laurels, the enterprising fundraisers will be embarking on a 100-mile cycle ride on the 6th of April. Setting off from Newmarket racecourse in Suffolk, the sportive will see cyclists meandering through the quiet country lanes of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex on an anti-clockwise route.

Representing the Openreach corner, Jamie Barker, Rob Howard, Stuart Pollard, John Moore and Ian Coates will be swapping their cars for two wheels to support Acorn House, The Sick Children's Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ supporting Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

‘We’re here, so you can be there’

Founded in 1982 by two paedriatric specialists, Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas, The Sick Children’s Trust provides free, high quality ‘Home from Home’ accommodation as well as emotional and practical support for families who have seriously ill children in specialist hospitals far from home.

With the belief in the positive impact of having parents present during a hospital stay, the charity has nine houses across the UK, offering warm and homely accommodation for parents of sick children.

This enables both parents and siblings to stay close by to their sick child’s bedside – alleviating many of the practical and emotional strains that families face in their time of crisis.

Providing a calm retreat

The charity receives no funding from the government. Funds are raised from family supporters, major donors, corporate partnerships, charitable trusts, and the hospitals they work with.

Funds raised are used to support hospitals by building and maintaining new houses, moments away from paediatric wards. These homes offer families a comfortable, calm and relaxing environment away from the intense atmosphere of clinical wards, where they can maintain some semblance of normality.

The Sick Children’s Trust also provides house staff, who strive to improve the quality of life for families staying in the charity’s ‘Home from Home’ accommodation.

A needed charity in the community

Claudette Watson, chief executive of The Sick Children’s Trust says: “We are delighted that the Cambridge OpenReach team have chosen to support our work at Acorn House, in Cambridge. The funds they’re raising on MyDonate will help us to ensure that we can be there for more families who are caring for a seriously ill child far from home. We don’t charge for our services, but it costs us £28 to accommodate a family for a night, so OpenReach’s 100-mile cycle ride will make a real difference to families from across Cambridgeshire.”

Tracey Tibbetts, a fellow team member who is organising the fundraising, explains: “We are supporting the charity for several reasons, most importantly it is a really good cause, secondly one of our team has a sister that worked at Acorn House so we know that it is a good and much-needed charity in the community. Finally, we do not feel that this charity gets the publicity it deserves.”

Straightforward to use

Speaking about MyDonate set-up process, Tracey said: “When we looked into the different management charges from fundraising sites we decided upon MyDonate. For a complete novice like myself it was fairly straightforward”

The cyclists have a fundraising target of £3,000 – you can help them reach it by donating to their team fundraising page.

It’s never been easier to set up a team fundraising page with MyDonate. If you want to create a fundraising team, with people who can help you towards reaching a specific fundraising goal, then follow our easy step by step guide.

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