Focus on Puttinu Cares children’s cancer charity

iGEN regularly sponsors deserving individuals and charities as a way of giving back to the community. On 23rd June 2023, iGEN invited four organisations to present their charitable work, with the aim of securing sponsorship from our members. The four organisations were Malta Community Chest Foundation, Puttinu Cares, Foodbank Lifeline Foundation and the newly formed Malta Ranger Unit, and each had a 15-minute slot to present.

Puttinu Cares, the children’s cancer support group, was set up in October 2002, with the ambition to offer a holistic care approach for families with children suffering from cancer. The first project of the charity was to bring to life the dull children’s ward in St. Luke’s Hospital, and today the children’s oncology ward is housed in the Rainbow ward at the Sir Anthony Oncology Centre Msida.

Puttinu’s latest project is the £22 million purchase and renovation of a building in London’s central WC1 district, close to the Great Ormond, National and Moorefields Hospitals, to be called Victor Calvagna House. Puttinu are offering the opportunity for iGEN members to donate and to sponsor the 27 wheelchair-accessible apartments in the new complex.

A total refit of the building is required. Here work is well underway stripping out existing fixtures and fittings.

Over the years, Puttinu has organised many fund-raising events, such as the popular Football Marathon, to raise money to ensure that patients with cancer have a support structure to help them and their families through a very difficult period in their lives. Since Malta is a small island state, with limited resources, Puttinu also offers help when families need to travel to the UK for any kind of further treatment. Although the Government covers all medical costs, Puttinu steps in to offer accommodation for the accompanying family, free of charge.

On average 60 – 90 patients receive treatment at one of 30 different UK hospitals every month. These patients can spend weeks, months and even years in treatment, as in-patients or coming and going from hospital, and Puttinu also has 26 apartments in Sutton, close to major oncology hospitals, available for the patients and their families.

The typical standard of our accommodation units

‘Having accommodation available close to treatment centres not only alleviates the financial burden on families, but is also an important ingredient in the sick child’s care; having their parents and siblings close at hand when they are going through these difficult times is not a luxury, but a must’ says Rennie Zerafa, CEO.

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