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Jayne Secker becomes a Patron of Grace House

29 March 2019

Grace House are delighted to announce that Jayne Secker, daughter of Kathy Secker, the charities’ founder has agreed to become a Patron.

Jayne is a busy TV journalist, working on Sky News’s lunchtime programme as well as travelling around the country reporting on big stories.

Jayne was there at the outset in 2000 when Kathy first came up with idea of starting the charity, and she has watched it grow from an idea at the family kitchen table to the busy place it is today. Kathy was inspired after meeting families like the Jones’ in Sunderland whose daughter Grace the charity became named after. Grace sadly passed away in 2018.

Jayne said “Mum wanted to build a place to help families of children who were very ill; those with disabilities, had life limiting illnesses or were dying.

“She had supported a number of charities over the years and saw the affect very poorly children could have on families. Because of their complex medical needs it was not easy to hand over care to someone else. Most parents and siblings had never had a day off. Mum thought why not build a place the children could come and have fun and be happy and safe, while the rest of the family could get some much needed respite. Even 24 hours off could make a massive difference.”

It was a no mean feat for Kathy to build the Centre. Despite having no experience running a charity she managed to raise £5 and a half million pounds and get Grace House built before retiring. Sadly, she died in 2015 before the Centre opened.

In a recent visit to the North East Jayne popped by the charity, Jayne said “I last visited Grace Hose in May 2016 and it was just finding its feet, I can’t believe how busy it now is. It’s brilliant to see so many children using all the facilities. I can remember mum spending hours deciding what cheerful colours the bedrooms would be and what could go into the sensory room. Seeing these spaces really being used is so satisfying”.

David Cook, the Chair of Grace House, said, “it’s wonderful to have Jayne as part of our team, the Secker name is integral Grace House, so we are very pleased to welcome her”.

Jayne said “Mum would be so pleased to see that all her hard work is now making a difference to so many families in Sunderland. It’s great the Centre is being used for Short Breaks and that the children are loving it. I am so proud to be able to continue the family involvement in Grace House and look forward to doing all I can to help.”

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