SDC staff in children’s cancer charity unit visit

Darren Donnelly of SDC with Gillian Creevy of NI Cancer Fund for Children.
Darren Donnelly of SDC with Gillian Creevy of NI Cancer Fund for Children.

Staff from South Derry based SDC Trailers recently visited Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (NICFC)’s brand new therapeutic short break centre for children diagnosed with cancer and their families.

In January, Northern Ireland’s leading Trailer Manufacturer chose Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children as its official charity partner to help support Daisy Lodge, the charity’s state-of-the-art family facility near Newcastle, Co Down.

When the 16,000 sq. ft. family facility, which is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland, opens in spring NICFC will be able to provide free therapeutic short breaks to up to 500 families per year.

The charity will be able to offer every family affected by childhood cancer in Northern Ireland two weekend and one week long short break, allowing them to be together as a family during a traumatic and challenging time.

They will also be able to provide short breaks to families where a parent is diagnosed with cancer.

With the new facility, NICFC aims to set a global standard in the provision of a therapeutic centre dedicated to families nursing a child with cancer.

Its features include six double family suites, four therapy rooms, a range of age-appropriate play areas, two communal lounge areas, large open dining space, specialist kitchen facilities, cinema and safe outdoor play areas.

NICFC’s team of specialists will be on hand to provide one-to-one support and an expanded range of therapeutic and complementary treatments to help rejuvenate families who are simply exhausted and quite literally running on empty.

Whilst Daisy Lodge is not a hospice, NICFC will be able to provide dedicated support to children at end of life and bereaved families for as long as they need support, allowing them to create special memories together.

Darren Donnelly, Director of SDC Trailers said they were sure that they’d made a good decision when they took the NICFC on as their charity of the year for SDC.

“Now that we’ve visited Daisy Lodge we know it was a great decision. I’m absolutely astounded by the level of planning and effort which has gone into the building of Daisy Lodge and I know it will be a great success.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the work of this outstanding charity and I look forward to engaging with them for a long time to come,” he added.

Recently the Toomebridge based manufacturing company announced a £1.25 million order from Saudi company, the Rezayat Group.

SDC also announced the creation of 40 new jobs based in the Toomebridge plant, spread across the engineering, operative and management departments.

The contract, for 60 new platform trailers will be manufactured and exported to Saudi Arabia by the end of this year.

The company, which employs more than 500 people across three sites has seen a period of rapid growth in the past 18 months, and anticipates a number of larger contract announcements in the coming months.