PACT was founded in 1977 – with a donation of £113 – when eight parents created a support group for families whose children had cancer. PACT started raising funds for a Christmas party and a summer trip for the children. The charity expanded its remit to include children with leukaemia in 1978 and, as funds were secured, services grew to include new ideas like the provision of equipment and facilities for families.
Over the last 30 years PACT has continued to raise money to help support the families, and increasingly to support the ward and clinic at the hospital, as well as contributing to research.
We provide practical support by purchasing equipment for the ward, school room and clinic and for the community nurses who look after the children in their own homes.
Every year we provide trips and treats for the children and their families and we own two caravans – one in Filey for children who are on treatment and unable to travel far and one in Berwick-on-Tweed for the use of families who are off treatment. These facilities provide a welcome opportunity for a holiday break and some quality family time.
We offer our support to every family who is referred to the Oncology unit at Sheffield Childrens Hospital and whose child has cancer or leukaemia irrespective of where they live. Our help continues when the child is in remission or even if the child does not survive and it only stops when the child moves on to adult services.
Some of the money we raise is allocated to research; more equipment has been provided too along with financial assistance to fund a research worker in support of the highly-specialised doctors and nurses who are dedicated to the care of these families. Thanks to the fabulous support and commitment of staff and volunteers, PACT has gone from strength to strength and has helped dozens of families.