Parents of sick kids at Birmingham Children’s Hospital are being provided overnight accommodation during the Covid-19 outbreak courtesy of generous donations. Funds donated via the NHS Charities Together Urgent Appeal and two charitable Trusts to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity have meant that the burden and stress of travel has been eased for families whose children are receiving specialist care at our hospital.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has meant that our hospital has increased its intensive care capacity and treated more of the sickest children from across the Midlands, in support of other NHS Trusts in the region. This has meant worried parents travelling further from their homes in order to be with their children.

But rather than face arduous journeys to and from our hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has used funds from NHS Charities Together, as well as generous contributions from the Eveson Charitable Trust and the Hobson Charity, to provide overnight accommodation in the nearby Stay City Apartments and Holiday Inn.

This has meant that parents like Emma and Craig Stringfellow didn’t have to travel the 100 mile round trip to their home in Leicestershire when their newborn son Harrison needed intensive care treatment for a rare condition called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome.

Craig said: “We can’t even begin to express how much a difference being able to stay in the apartment has made to this whole experience. When you’re in that situation, you’ll do anything you have to, but travelling back and forth to the hospital, and being so far away from Harrison at night was just excruciating for Emma and you could see it just wasn’t sustainable.

“At such a distressing time in our lives, having this accommodation arranged and taken care of feels like a massive weight has been lifted. It’s such a simple thing, but knowing that we’re both close by should anything happen is the biggest reassurance for us.”

When Harrison was born, his rare condition meant that his heart had not formed in the right way. But Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s world-renowned cardiology unit meant that he could undergo life-saving open-heart surgery and he is well on the way to recovery.

Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “The money donated by the public to NHS Charities Together, as well as generous donations by the Eveson Charitable Trust and the Hobson Charity, have enabled us to ease the worry of overnight accommodation for those families traveling from across the country to get specialist care at our Children’s Hospital.

“Our charity exists to support the fantastic care our NHS heroes provide for patients and their families, so to be able to help Craig and Emma out in their hour of need is incredibly rewarding and we’re committed to doing even more to help those who need us most.”

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity has so far received more than £75,000 from NHS Charities Together following its urgent national appeal due to the outbreak of Covid-19. However, with fundraising events cancelled, the reality is that the charity is going to feel the impact of this lack of fundraising income, and therefore its ability to support the amazing work undertaken by our staff will suffer as a result.

We can’t do what we do without you. By committing to giving a regular gift or a one-off donation to our COVID-19 appeal, you can help us do more for sick kids. Please give what you can today.