Holiday lodge the next step for TCCL

A LOCAL Tayside charity is hoping to build on recent funding boosts to help further plans to build a holiday home for families affected by cancer.

Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia (TCCL), founded in 1994, provides support to families with children suffering from cancer or leukaemia. They offer financial support to help cope with travel costs and provide grants to families who need support to make life easier.

They aim to help families in anyway possible.

Their newest project is to set up a family holiday home to allow families dealing with cancer or leukaemia a chance to get a break.

Gaye Steel, a paediatric oncology nurse specialist who works with TCCL, said: “It is to give them a holiday.

“We hope to give them a complete break from all the treatment. The most common treatment takes up to three years so it is a huge part of people’s lives.”

TCCL, which has been in operation for the last 15 years, has previously paid for families to go on holiday, but discovered that many families were not taking the opportunity to go.

Gaye did some research on the issue and established that access to medical care was a key factor.

She explained: “Although they were told that there were hospitals nearby, they didn’t really want to see anybody but their own team.

“What we thought was if we could find somewhere between an hour to an hour-and-a-half away from Ninewells but within a holiday spot, it would be nice for the families to get a break.”

“For the unfortunate few children who are perhaps palliative, they would get the opportunity to go when they wanted and perhaps create some happy memories for the families.”

The charity has raised enough since fund-raising began in May of last year to buy a plot of land, and is looking to build in St Andrews.

Gaye said: “At the moment we are looking in the St Andrews area because that is where people have said they would like.

“We have raised just under £200,000, so we are getting there. We have got enough to buy the land. If people support us it would be wonderful and we can get it built as soon as we can.”

The lodge is TCCL’s first long term project, and they are aiming to open the holiday home in 2015, or sooner if it is possible.

The charity has set a target of £500,000, which will allow them to build and run the facility for around the first five years. In order to achieve this total, TCCL has set up a separate charity number for the lodge to allow people to donate directly to the cause.

If you would like to donate to help build the lodge, you can pop in to the Brechin Advertiser office on 13 Swan Street, Brechin, or you can also donate online directly to the lodge appeal by going to http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/donate/donate_b.asp?charityid=3836.