The Sikh Arts and Cultural Association (SACA) has raised £50,000 towards creating a ‘home away from home’ for the families of children with cancer.
On Saturday 16 July, around 200 cyclists set off on a 126-mile charity bike ride from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Selly Oak, arriving at their destination in Southall the following day.
The bike ride was organised to raise money to create a place to stay for the families of children and young people with cancer who receive treatment at QEHB. Called SACA’s Home From Home, it will be a five-minute walk from the hospital, enabling parents, siblings and loved ones to be close by while their children or relatives receive radiotherapy treatment or stay on the Teenage Cancer Trust Young Persons Unit.
QEHB is the largest centre for paediatric radiotherapy outside of London, and one of the most technically advanced radiotherapy departments in Europe. Many families travel a significant distance so that their children can undergo treatment at QEHB. Unfortunately, due to a lack of affordable, appropriate accommodation, patients and their families are not always able to share a physical and emotional closeness during periods of extended hospital treatment.
On Saturday 26 November, Mike Hammond, Chief Executive of QEHB Charity, went to London for the final cheque presentation and awards ceremony. The afternoon was attended by SACA organiser’s, fundraisers and riders and recognised all of the hard work put into making the ride a massive success over the past 12 months.
Mike said: “SACA have supported children with cancer before through our VIP Treatment appeal to refurbish the paediatric radiotherapy department at the hospital, and now this fantastically generous donation will go towards a home away from home for families going through a hard time. I want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who got involved and helped to raise £50,000 – you should all be incredibly proud.”