A MELKSHAM charity which supports parents whose children are in hospital has received £1,000 cash boost from a leading housebuilder.

Evie’s Gift was awarded the money by Persimmon Homes Wessex after applying to the firm’s Community Champions scheme. The initiative gives away up to £2,000 every month to local good causes.

The charity gives immediate financial assistance to parents whose children have been admitted to hospital with a life threatening or life limiting condition. It also funds research into rare forms of brain cancer.

Bryan and Patsy Clover set up the charity in memory of their 13-year-old daughter Evie, who died on January 11 this year in Bristol Children’s Hospital after being taken ill while on holiday in San Sebastian, Spain, last October.

Mr Clover, of Farmhouse Court, Melksham, said: “The charity Evie's Gift was born out of tragedy. Our daughter Evie was taken from us by an aggressive brain tumour.

“Following her diagnosis, she was airlifted and admitted to Bristol Children's Hospital, where she received the best care possible from a group of dedicated doctors and nurses.

“During Evie’s time in hospital we were fortunate to be accommodated for in the hospital and then at the Ronald McDonald House – others however weren’t as fortunate.

“We saw frightened, tired parents sleeping on chairs in the parents' room/kitchen or even sleeping in their cars because they couldn't afford the local hotels.

“The free accommodation, where available, is fantastic, but there isn't enough to go around, as we saw all too often.

“We will aim to pay for two nights' accommodation locally and help meet other costs associated with being near a child while he/she is in hospital. That's things like food and travel costs.

“We can't cover everything, but we can take away some of the worry for a couple of days, allowing stressed out parents to think straight and get some quality rest.

“When our daughter passed away, we decided to do something about it and tackle that, and other problems, head on and we’re so grateful to Persimmon Homes Wessex for its generous donation.”

Pauline Fletcher, Persimmon Homes Wessex sales and marketing director, said: “Having a child admitted to hospital with a life-threatening condition is bad enough, but having to face tough medical decisions when sleep-deprived and stressed because of financial impacts is a dreadful situation to face.

“Evie’s Gift is a true Community Champion. They provide such a valuable and supportive service in the areas we build and they’re a cause that we are pleased that we can support.”

Persimmon Homes Wessex is building a range of three, four and five-bedroom family homes at its George Ward Gardens development, off Bath Road, Melksham.