Every little helps
A local charity which provides short breaks for seriously ill children is urgently in need of volunteers.
Sam’s Haven, based in Waterlooville, was set up by the parents of seven-year-old Sam Merrick, who has a chronic lung, immune and gastro issues, meaning he must be fed directly into his stomach.
The family, from Denmead, found that short breaks in their friends’ caravan in West Sussex provided vital respite for Sam, inspiring them to launch the charity and offer this to children cared for at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, through their own luxury caravan.
Currently within the Portsmouth and surrounding area, there are over 1,000 children living with either a life-changing, life threatening or terminal illness. The breaks away are intended for the whole family, to spend quality time together without the restraints that may come with having a poorly child.
But the charity’s early success means more volunteers are needed to allow Sam’s Haven to continue to help local children.
Louise, Sam’s mother, explained: “We have been very fortunate that the charity has succeeded far quicker than we anticipated. Whilst this is great news is means the demands of the charity have also increased and for us to continue we really need the extra help.
“A few hours on a stall could make a difference, it could even mean the difference whether we are able to run a particular event or not. Without these events we simply would not be able to continue. The help we receive can come in many forms from helping on the stall to baking a cake. As the saying goes ‘every little helps’ and for us it really will make a big difference.
“In the two seasons we have been running we have supplied 37 much needed breaks away and this year we are hoping to double that number. As a charity we rely solely on volunteers and donations.”
To find out more about volunteering opportunities with Sam’s Haven, email email@example.com or visit samshaven.com