First holiday home for seriously ill kids opens

5 July 2011, 11:20

The first purpose built holiday home for seriously ill children and their families is opening today near Basingstoke.

The Bluebells House is run by Sebastian's Action Trust, the charity set up in memory of Sebastian Gates who was diagnosed with Wilms' Tumour, a rare form of childhood cancer when he was 7. He died in 2003 aged nine. The holiday home was his idea, Sebastian's mum Jane told Heart he would be proud of what they have achieved.

"I think that he would be so proud that we as a community have all come together to fullfill his wish, and to make something that is about helping others. This is a house that is now about the future."

The house has two fully accessible four bedroom self catering apartments - each with a large kitchen and sitting room. As well as an indoor hydrotherapy pool, with an electric hoist for disabled access, there is a sensory room, music room, art room and a wellbeing room for parents.

Jane says its important to remember all members of the family:

"when you have a child who is very seriously  ill it can be incredibly stressful for all members of the family, family life is often fragmented and its very difficult to have those special times together. We're very much hoping that Bluebells will be a place where families can come back together."

One hundred families will be able to have a weeks holiday every year, with another five hundred able to come in for day visits.