Project Parent was founded in 2014 by Kate Stanforth, who received funding to start up her social enterprise idea.
Kate is 25 years old and suffers from a range of chronic illnesses; including ME and EDS. After suffering from these conditions for a number of years, and spending a lot of time in hospital herself, she realised there was a lack of support for the parents of children who were in hospital - particularly at Christmas.
She soon found out that come Christmas time there were lots of donations for presents and visits for the children, but their mums and dads, who often are their primary carers, were left with nothing. The children were often too poorly to go out Christmas shopping for their family, and during the difficult time of having a child in hospital, were often forgotten about. But, when Project Parent was found, that soon changed.
Kate received a £300 grant from 'O2ThinkBig' to set up her idea early in 2014. She'd heard about the project from a friend and applied for funding. After the success of the grant, Kate received training and support in how to manage and use her grant wisely. She soon decided she wanted to support her local hospital in Newcastle - The Great North Children's Hospital. With the help of volunteers and kind donations, she managed to make up 30 gift bags and left them with the nurses in the run to Christmas. It was only after receiving a letter from the hospital, and feedback from one of the parents, that she realised what a difference it had made. No-one had ever donated anything for the parents of the children in hospital, and the nurses were amazed at the idea. This spurred Kate on to apply for a larger grant, which she successfully got in 2015. Now, Project Parent is self-run and has spread across the UK, helping many families, and creating many smile along the way.