Project information

The Joshua Tree Support Centre

The Joshua Tree supports families affected by childhood cancer. This support is for the whole family, including parents/carers, the poorly child, siblings, friends, grandparents and the wider family. We are now supporting over 90 families across the Northwest and North Wales.

January 2018 - August 2018

Charity information: The Joshua Tree Holiday House And Support Centre

The Joshua Tree Holiday House And Support Centre logo
  • Need


    Every family’s experience and needs are unique and we tailor our support to their needs: Therapeutic support, play therapy and support groups; Practical support, attendance at medical or school appointments and information signposting; Family activities and events, monthly Saturday sessions; Educational support, including individual tutoring and liaison with staff; Health and fitness sessions, particularly for our young people; Support and training for schools.


    Providing these families with a safe and appropriate environment with a range of indoor and outdoor activities designed to stimulate the children, will allow the family to experience much needed quality time together away from the confines of hospital treatment. The centre will feature a multi-functional activity room, private counselling suites, office facilities, soft play and sensory room, a games room and outdoor play area and landscaped gardens.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Relieving families from stress in practical measures


    » Accompanying to appointments (health, educational etc.) We attend Alder Hey hospital every Monday to offer support to families attending appointments
    » Childcare provision for the poorly child, their siblings or both. Allowing the parents time for themselves or to attend appointments.
    » Shopping, cleaning, gardening and meal provision for families
    » Signposting to other charities/organisations and

    We log all our interactions with our families through Salesforce so we can report back on the number of measures provided. We ask the families to evaluate what they have received.

    Aim 2

    Health and Well-Being of the family


    » Personal training sessions. Post treatment we offer sessions to the children to build them back up and increase their confidence and self-esteem.
    » Art / Cooking therapy. Both are proven techniques to allow families to work as a team or individually with trained therapists.
    » Mindfulness, yoga, relaxation, meditation, pampering and prayer. Allowing families to take some time out from the stress of childhood illness.
    » Nutritional advice and support. To teach the importance of good nutrition to the families for recovering well from their experience.

    We do case studies on our teenagers receiving training sessions to show the journey from start to finish. Again we ask for evaluations from our families regarding services provided

    Aim 3



    » One to one tutors. To allow the children chance to catch up post treatment with the support of their school.
    » Liaising with schools, colleges and universities and providing advice and resources to educate them.
    » Advice about exam arrangements and preparation.
    » Diagnostic assessments. Looking at what requirements the children need and what other services they can signposted to.

    With the communications from the schools and tutors we are able to track the progress made by each child. We will also record all school training given.

    Aim 4

    Emotional needs


    » Saturday sessions for children and their families. A much needed play time for all the family, with trained support staff on hand
    » Bespoke counselling and psychotherapy and new bereavement programme
    » Grandparent and sibling support groups
    » Meeting for a coffee and a chat or attending support centre for drop in session

    We have created a 'Journey Tree' that we ask family members to judge where they are at the beginning of their journey with us and we review it periodically with them.

    Aim 5

    Financial assistance


    » Free financial advice from in house staff and external agencies, CAB etc
    » Signposting of specific items if required (wheelchairs, household items etc.)
    » Signposting to other charities/organisations

    We will track all signposting measures used and our internal assistance will be logged. This will again be reflected in our Journey Tree

  • Impact


    Providing these families with a safe and appropriate environment with a range of indoor and outdoor activities designed to stimulate the children, will allow the family to experience much needed quality time together away from the confines of hospital treatment.
    With our educational programmes we will provide external agencies with advice to ensure these families gain the support that they need at the times they need them.
    Our increasing number of referrals from hospitals will demonstrate this


    The speed in the increase of our referrals from local hospitals including Alder Hey increases the need for additional staff. This increases our overheads and therefore the funds needed to continue. We are looking at long-term funding programmes, ie to allow us to secure our future in to the next decade and beyond.
    We have jumped from 60 to 90 families in just over a year so we need the centre open so that we can bring the families to us rather than pure home visits which is staff intensive.


    We already provide 6 monthly or annual reports to funders already in place. These reports provide interaction numbers but also the stories behind those we help.
    We also hold an annual strategy day which all contributors are invited to, including our families.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £850,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £750,000 Build Building of support centre
      £100,000 Build Contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Brian Wilson Trust £250,000 Guaranteed
    Brian Wilson Trust £25,000 Guaranteed
    Morgan Foundation £350,000 Conditional
    Duerrs Ball £50,000 Guaranteed
    Arley Hall £200,000 Guaranteed
    JT Fundraising £100,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our support centre is being built in Sandiway, Northwich in a beautiful countryside setting with fantastic views. The land was donated to us and was formerly an old police skid pan.
    With such a fantastic location, the families will benefit from the serenity of the site and the lack of pollution and stress of a town centre location.
    As families with childhood cancers are not able to use public transport due to infection risk the out of town location doesn't impact our families.


    Any family in the Northwest and North Wales experiencing childhood cancer. This includes parents/carers, the poorly child, siblings, friends, grandparents and the wider family.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since the outset of our charity it became very clear that most charities support the families whilst going through treatment but that this support ends on discharge. However, the impact of childhood cancer has far reaching issues and we have expanded and changed the services we provide as we have gained experience. With Alder Hey now asking us to provide support to families whilst on treatment our expertise is becoming known and promoted.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lynda Hill

    CEO and founder. As Mum to Josh she has first-hand knowledge of what it is to experience childhood cancer. She works f/t as Family Support Lead

    Rachael Birdsey

    Play Specialist. Rachael works with all our children, including siblings, to alleviate stress and concerns our children have during an emotional time

    Julie Smith

    Family Care Co-ordinator. Julie works with the families and our staff to ensure that all services needed are available at the right times.