The Basildon-based visual marketing specialists at 4Site Implementation decided to give something back to the wider community recently when they made a significant donation to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund. The company, which is more used to providing site hoardings, building wraps, signage design, window graphics and vehicle livery designs than it is to offering respite care, has been involved with the registered charity before. In December 2022, the charity launched a new appeal that focussed on helping both child cancer sufferers and their families to get a much-deserved break. Having successfully supported the fund back in September during their ‘Star for a Star’ campaign, the Essex firm decided that it would help out with the charity’s latest venture, a Christmas fundraising programme, once more.
According to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund, in the region of 1,800 families are given the unwelcome news that a child has been diagnosed with cancer every year across the whole of the UK. Understandably, this can come as a shock and, in many cases, be devastating news not just to the child concerned but to parents and siblings, as well. Caught early enough and with appropriate treatment, many children go on to make a recovery. However, there can be a strain placed on their education and their family life while treatment is ongoing.
That’s why the final fundraising campaign of 2022 that the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund launched focussed on respite care, offering hope to many affected families in the region. The whole idea is to help not just child cancer patients to enjoy a break but to encourage the whole family to get away together. This approach means the families concerned shouldn’t have to worry about everyday life for a few days at least.
Under the slogan of ‘The Gift of Time‘ the charity asked companies throughout Essex to get involved. From the outset, the children’s fund asked businesses in the county to consider sponsoring a break for the entire family or, if that was not to make a contribution to the cost of one. “[This will]… allow children with cancer and their families to relax, recharge and reconnect,” the charity said when it launched the campaign.
Setting up three tiers of support based on the number of nights away a company felt it could sponsor, the respite care on offer wasn’t simply to give families a period away from their usual family home but to provide some true respite care. As such, the sponsorship money didn’t just go on the hire of the accommodation but utility charges, cleaning fees, fresh linen and more besides. According to the charity, it costs an average of £1,000 a night to offer a typical family with a child who has or who is recovering from cancer the chance for this sort of high-quality respite care.
Despite the significant costs involved in getting all of the sponsorship slots they wanted, the charity’s fundraising campaign was an undoubted success. It set up a virtual Advent calendar on its web page with a bauble on a Christmas tree designed to represent each of the 25 family breaks it wanted to fundraise for. The tenth bauble was awarded to 4Site Implementation in recognition of its generosity in supporting the campaign, specifically to offer the gift of a short break to the family of a young cancer patient, Flora.
“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have a holiday in Lennox Lodge,” Flora’s family said. “It was amazing to have a break in such a nice lodge and to visit some new places we have never visited before.” According to Flora’s family, the break was perfect for the whole family because the older kids could make use of the facilities on site while Flora, who is younger than her siblings, was able to enjoy some quiet times or take a nap. “We really appreciated spending some fun time together,” the family said.
The Lennox Children’s charity acknowledged that the respite care holiday in question was only possible thanks to the support of 4Site. In a statement, the campaign organiser, Lindsey Bidwell, said that the firm’s generous gift means that a child like Flora and her family can enjoy a precious getaway in the coming year. “They will be able to spend time together as a family away from the harsh realities of childhood cancer,” her statement continued.
That’s quite telling because of what happened to Flora following her family’s last respite break. Just after the family returned home from their sponsored break, Flora got an infection which resulted in a spell in hospital for a few days. According to her family, this episode made the break away from home even more valuable. “We feel so lucky that we just made it through the holiday without any drama,” they said.
The Gift of Time Campaign was a success thanks to more contributions from other generous businesses in the Essex area. Thundersley Superhero Alliance, CK Blinds, Simon’s Shoe Services, KJL Group and ICE Data Services all got involved with sponsoring specific respite breaks for children and their families that will allow for some much-needed relaxation in the coming year. The charity said that all of the businesses involved had been featured on its Christmas campaign experience webpage.
What’s more, the campaign organiser said that all of the generous companies involved would receive a formal notification when the holiday they had paid for is assigned to a family. In return, the families involved will receive a letter informing them of which sponsor has funded their respite care break. In a personal touch, each business that has given to the campaign receives a card directly from the recipient, allowing them to gain a true insight into the impact of their donations first-hand.
Speaking of 4Site Implementation’s noteworthy involvement in the Christmas campaign last December, the charity said that it was ‘so very grateful’ for the generosity of the company. “We want to thank 4Site for sponsoring a 2023 respite break and giving the gift to time this Christmas,” it said.