The demands for our services grow each year: in 2013 we accommodated 215 people (patients
and parents), none of whom spoke the language and all of whom are desperately worried
about their sick child. We sometimes have to bring additional family members (for
example when a sibling bone marrow donor has to be accompanied by a second parent).
In the UK all work is done by volunteers. In Italy our Italian sister charity has
two paid employees, and many wonderful volunteers and local charities. They help
us to support the families, because a sick child needs not only medical care, but
to remember there is a life outside hospital full of affection, play and friendships.
Our volunteers and staff build close relationships with the families, who may be
away from home for 18 months to 2 years. Lifeline finds a hospital to accept the
child, arranges air travel, finds suitable accommodation, pays for their subsistence
if they cannot pay, arranges education where appropriate, organises trips and parties
and generally tries to provide a home away from home.