TRUST CASH APPEAL.
Demand for accommodation is set to grow with a planned reorganisation of children's health services which will see the number of paediatric beds at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary rise from 142 to 229 by 2010.
To extend Crawford House the charity needs to gut and refurbish 23,400 cubic feet of the building.
Donors to the fund will be able to buy their own part of the new extension by buying cubic space.
Janet Dane, spokeswoman for the Sick Children's Trust, said: "We could not have asked for a better start to the fundraising with Alan Shearer visiting the premises.
"He was keen to come as he wants to help more families in the North East benefit from the house."
All the children at the launch have benefited from being able to stay at Crawford House and are keen to help other families benefit in the future.
To donate go to sickchildrenstrust.org or call (020) 7791 2266.