Young Lives vs Cancer, Jean’s House, Announced as Port of Southampton Charity of the Year

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Liz Blunt, Young Lives Vs Cancer Senior Fundraising Manager kicked off the fundraising at the ABP Southampton Port Safety Day

ABP's Port of Southampton has announced Young Lives vs Cancer as its Charity of the Year for 2023, as voted by its employees in Southampton. 

Each year, ABP Southampton selects a charity that staff can fundraise for. Charities with a strong presence in Southampton or Hampshire are nominated by employees, with all employees having the chance to vote for their preferred charity from a shortlist. As part of their support of the charity, the team at ABP Southampton will be focusing on raising funds for Jean's House, a "Home from Home" facility provided by the charity. 

Jean's House provides a free place for families to stay when their child is undergoing cancer treatment. Staying at the home, which is near Southampton General Hospital, allows young cancer patients to be close to their loved ones, keeping the family together at a challenging time.

Caitlin Kempton, ABP Marine Compliance Officer, who initially nominated Young Lives vs Cancer for ABP Southampton's charity of the year, said: "I am pleased that Young Lives vs Cancer reached the final ballot for this years' charity of the year. It is a charity that is very close to my heart, and I am looking forward to supporting it through fundraising activities this year.”

"The charity supported my family and me while I was undergoing hospital treatment. Without my Mum's support and the support of the "Home from Home", I have no doubt that my stay in the hospital would have been longer and left my family struggling financially."

Southampton General Hospital is a specialist hospital for children and young people with cancer. It supports families across the South of England, including the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Jean's House helps families avoid the extra financial burden of travel, accommodation, and food costs. Families sometimes stay at Jean's House for months at a time, or just for one night, depending on their child's treatment.

Liz Blunt, Senior Fundraising Manager at Young Lives vs Cancer, said, "I have met so many families who have told me that they would not have managed financially without being able to stay at Jean's House. Our research shows that, on average, a family needs to find an extra £730 a month while their child goes through cancer treatment.”

"It is vital to have somewhere for families to stay free of charge and close to the hospital where their child is being treated. As a charity, we do not receive any government funding. We only have Jean's House in Southampton thanks to incredible supporters like Caitlin and ABP in Southampton."

Alastair Welch, Regional Director of ABP Southampton, said, "Our charity of the year initiative is important because we can contribute to the causes that matter most to our people and at the same time bring our teams together to reach a positive fundraising target."

"Jean's House is a great asset to the Young Lives vs Cancer charity, ensuring that families can remain together at an unimaginable time. I am excited to be part of this year's charity and get involved with our fundraising across the port."