Re arge FREE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 4
CHAIR’S MESSAGE WELCOME TO OUR FOURTH EDITION OF RECHARGE, AND THE FIRST OF 2019! What a fantastic start to the year! As we find ourselves marvelling at the fact that it is already March, we have so much great news to report. We are delighted to share the news that we have been awarded a grant of £119,136 over three years by BBC Children in Need. This grant will pay for the staff costs of the charity’s Children and Family Support Manager to deliver support right here in the North-east of Scotland. Read more about this on page 3.
CONTENTS Children in Need
Our Year so Far
Day in the Life
Our Families’ Stories
Save the Date
ReCHarge Café How you can Help
As we bid farewell to two members of the team last year, we have welcomed four new additions since the end of 2018. We hope you can join us in welcoming Beth Hopkins as Activities Co-ordinator, Joan Cowie as Volunteer and Information Co-ordinator, Helen Peterkin-Nicol as Team Administrator and Fiona Fairley, Charlie House Community Nurse stationed at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. Joan Cowie is featured in our ‘Day in the Life’ section on pages 6-7. Our Big Build appeal, which was launched in November 2018, continues to gain momentum with a fantastic £1.6 million raised to date. We have been overwhelmed with the public response and everyone’s
general interest in this life-changing project. To find out more about the appeal and how you can get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org This year I am particularly looking forward to being part of the Charlie House Ascends Machu Picchu (CHAMP) team, which will see 36 intrepid adventurers embark on a tough 10-day trip. Hopefully we see many furry friends, as per my picture, on our adventures! Money raised by the CHAMP team will fund the cost of one child’s bedroom in our new specialist support centre as part of our Big Build appeal. We look forward to sharing our pictures and stories with you all at the end of the year. On behalf of the Charlie House team, board and families we support, thank you for your ongoing support and here’s to 2019!
CHILDREN IN NEED PUDSEY AND CHARLIE COME TOGETHER TO SUPPORT CHILDREN WITH COMPLEX DISABILITIES AND LIFE-LIMITING CONDITIONS
e are delighted to announce we have been awarded a grant of £119,136 over three years by BBC Children in Need. This grant will pay for the staff costs of the charity’s Children and Family Support Manager and help make a difference to the lives of babies, children and young people right here in the North-east of Scotland. In the North-east of Scotland alone there are over 1,500 babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions. Since the charity began in 2011, Charlie House has been committed to supporting these babies, children, young people and their families. Established in 2011, our current services include
activity clubs, siblings’ clubs, support from the Charlie House Community Nurse, one-to-one emotional and practical support from the Children and Family Support Manager and an annual adventure trip to Kielder Forest Park, run by the Calvert Trust. As a charity we have continued to look at how we can expand and improve our services to ensure they meet the needs of more families in the local community and wider North-east of Scotland. This funding will enable the delivery of therapeutic, supportive and fun activities for young people to help them come to terms with their sibling’s life-limiting conditions. Young people will be better able to manage emotions, develop new friendships and
experience a more positive home environment. Tracy Johnstone, Chair of Charlie House, says, “We could not expand our reach to families and young people in the North-east of Scotland without the support of BBC Children in Need. This grant will change the lives of so many young people and give them the support they need, when they need it. This project support will improve the mental and emotional wellbeing of siblings of children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions by providing one-to-one and group/family therapeutic support, sibling support and pre and post bereavement support.” Florence Burke, National Head of Scotland, BBC Children in Need, commented, “BBC Children
in Need is committed to improving the lives of those children and young people who need it most. Our support to Charlie House will enable them to make real and lasting changes to children with life-limiting conditions and their families across the North-east of Scotland. To quote Charlie House Life is Precious, we believe that it should also be full of fun and friendship and look forward to seeing this funding in action!” BBC Children in Need relies on the generosity and creativity of the thousands of supporters and fundraisers who raise millions of pounds for the charity every year. To date the UK public has raised over £1 billion for children and young people facing disadvantage across the UK.
MALE PARENT/ CARER GROUPS CREATED FOR 2019
VOLUNTEER HOURS CARRIED OUT IN 2018
VOLUNTARY HOURS TO SUPPORT CHILDREN AND FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN 2018
CHARLIE HOUSE IN NUMBERS
YOUNG ADULT GROUPS PLANNED FOR 2019
COFFEE MORNINGS PLANNED FOR ABERDEEN CITY AND SHIRE IN 2019
FUNDRAISERS TREKKING IN PERU IN 2019
STAND WITH CHARLIE HOUSE
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! JOIN THE TEAM
GET IN TOUCH TODAY VOLUNTEER@CHARLIEHOUSE.ORG.UK 01224 313333
DAY IN THE LIFE NAME: JOAN COWIE JOB TITLE: VOLUNTEER AND INFORMATION CO-ORDINATOR CHARITY: CHARLIE HOUSE
OUR FOURTH FEATURE TAKES A SNEAK PEEK INTO A ‘DAY IN THE LIFE’ OF VOLUNTEER AND INFORMATION CO-ORDINATOR, JOAN COWIE: MORNING: I am lucky enough to live very close to Charlie House HQ so can start and end my day with a wee walk – useful thinking time and it all contributes to my step count which I need to keep up if I’m going to tackle the full Kiltwalk this year. First stop of the morning is the kettle, then the laptop. Each week I meet with the fundraising team who share what’s happening. It’s going to be very busy over the next few months so it’s time to put a call out to our volunteers to ask for their help with manning information stands, selling merchandise, marshalling at running events, bucket collections, helping at Charlie House events or walking with us at the Celebrate Aberdeen Parade – all helping to raise awareness and vital funds. We have adopted a ‘second office’ across the road at Café Cognito, so I often head there to meet our volunteers. Email is a great way of sharing information quickly, but nothing beats sitting down and catching up face-to-face. By finding out more about each of our volunteers I can better understand what works best for them, what they are looking to get out of volunteering and what they would like to bring – and what a talented bunch they are! People kindly give their time and talents in so many ways – photography, driving, massage, baking, craft workshops, administration and so much more. I have been spending time at Bon Accord to meet volunteers who are kindly helping us move crockery and cutlery into the unit which will become our ReCHarge Café. With many pairs of hands we can complete tasks much quicker so are very appreciative of the help! This sort of
activity is perfect for volunteers who want to help on an ad hoc basis. We are also looking for a team of volunteers to make a more regular commitment, helping in the café on a rota basis. I also regularly spend time with Laura, the Café Manager, about volunteer rotas and training.
LUNCH: Some days I am very good and bring in something reasonably healthy for lunch; other days I sit in the corner and tuck into more biscuits and chocolates than is good for me! Whatever’s on the menu, I do try to get away from my desk – whether it’s to the wee seating area in the corner of the office, or, taking a walk round the block. Something I’ve taken from my previous role is walking meetings – walking and talking is a very effective way of catching up. We do check the weather before venturing out though!
AFTERNOON: One of the things I love about my role is that I work with everyone in the Charlie House team. I regularly meet with the services team – the Children and Family Support Manager, Activities Co-ordinator and Community Nurse. As we continue to increase the number and range of activities offered to families, later this year we will be developing a small team of children and family service volunteers. I am working with the team to ensure that we have the right training and support in place.
WHY I LOVE MY JOB: 1. Team Charlie House – families,
volunteers, supporters and staff – amazing team!
2. Getting out into the community to help spread the word about Charlie House.
3. Positive, can-do approach from
everyone in the Charlie House team and all those wonderful individuals, families, businesses and community groups that support us.
The team is also planning some events to help raise awareness of our free support services to families, health professionals and members of the public and I look forward to helping develop and deliver these.
4. The feeling that in some small
Anyone who knows me knows that I have been known to talk – a lot! And there is nothing I love more than talking to people about Charlie House. I never cease to be amazed at the level of interest in and warmth towards Charlie House. Many people are aware of our plans to build a specialist support centre in Aberdeen but are keen to find out more about our current services and how they could get involved.
5. Meeting, sharing with and learning
Each week after work, I grab my dancing shoes and heading off to a dancing class. Yes, after more than 30 years of persuasion (I’m nothing if not persistent) I eventually convinced my husband to try ballroom dancing – and he loves it! We are no experts but have a lot of fun and on a good day can manage something that resembles a rumba!
way I might be helping to make a difference to local families.
from other charities and agencies.
6. The variety that comes with being part of a small team coupled with people’s willingness to help each other – you never know what you might get involved in!
7. There are always new people to meet and new things to learn.
8. The chocolate corner!
OUR FAMILIES’ STORIES 8
THIS ISSUE’S FAMILY STORY COMES FROM OUR WONDERFUL COLLEAGUE KIRSTY WALKER, WITH THE SUPPORT OF HUSBAND CAMMY. KIRSTY SHARES HER PERSONAL STORY AND JOURNEY, WHAT CHARLIE HOUSE MEANS TO HER AND WHY SHE HAS GONE ON TO BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CHARLIE HOUSE TEAM:
Life Shock – an unexpected moment offering an opportunity for self-awareness. These moments are collision points between life as we see it and life as it actually is. They shock us into paying attention” (SOPHIE SABBAGE, AUTHOR OF LIFE SHOCKS: AND HOW TO LOVE THEM)
y life shock started when my beautiful little boy Harrison made a very early appearance into this world, eight weeks prior to his expected arrival date. At that point my husband and I were blissfully unaware that our lives were never going to be the same again, they would involve numerous tests, procedures and operations on our helpless little boy, endless hours of waiting and hoping for some sort of miracle and worst of all the reality that we may have very limited time left with our son. We were lucky to get Harrison home to start making memories as a family together, seeing in a special Christmas and Harrison’s
second birthday, before our little man decided he was too good for this world and passed away in our arms in August 2016. I went from caring for my son 24 hours a day to nothing, just silence and a silence that I needed to fill. Prior to Harrison’s arrival, I worked in the offshore industry as a recruiter in a fastpaced office where my main focus was how much commission I would earn that month. I hadn’t worked now for two-and-a
-half years and the thought of going back into that environment filled me with dread. I knew then that I needed to go back to work but I needed to do something that was more fulfilling and that was when I was approached by the Chair of a very special charity called Charlie House. Charlie House is a local charity that supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions. They not only support the affected child but also the whole family. They offer activity clubs, siblingsâ€™ clubs, emotional and practical support for both parents and siblings and a yearly trip to the Calvert Trust â€“ Kielder. Their main goal is to build a specialist support centre in Aberdeen that will provide planned and emergency respite, palliative and end-of-life care for children. Charlie House is very close to my heart as it provided me with a network of friends I would never have met, and an amazing support system where everyone is in the same boat and understands exactly what you are going through. Had Harrison still been here today they would have been invaluable to us as a family. I am so proud to now work for a charity so close to my heart â€“ something I would never have considered before Harrison. I love how I can give my input on what the families we support may or may not like based on my experiences, and I do believe that if anything positive had to come from losing our little boy it is that his legacy can help me help others.
WE’RE DELIGHTED TO BE WORKING CLOSELY WITH ORGANISATIONS ACROSS THE NORTH-EAST OF SCOTLAND WHO RAISE VITAL FUNDS FOR THE CHARITY. HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THESE WONDERFUL COMPANIES.
The Datto team began fundraising for Charlie House back in 2017 with Andrew Stuart, Deputy Chief People Officer, taking part in a CRN Fight Night. After Andrew sadly passed away, the team continued to fundraise for the charity which was close to Andrew’s heart by taking part in various events with people making donations in his memory. Since then the fabulous team have taken part in Ultra Bike Rides, the London2Brighton Challenge and a Christmas Advent Challenge.
The Burness Paull team have been fundraising since 2018. The team hosted a social evening where a band formed by talented employees of Burness Paull performed at Orchid with employees making a donation to attend. They also carried out various fundraising throughout the year including bake sales, a World Cup Sweeper, roll runs and a silent auction.
Fundraising since 2018, the wonderful team at Activpayroll have supported Charlie House in a variety of ways including the sponsorship of one of our activity clubs – a hugely popular circus workshop. They have also very generously purchased two manual slings for the families to use and also took part in various fundraising events including bake sales, dress down days and National Payroll Week fundraising.
TOTAL DONATED TO DATE: £18,152.88
TOTAL RAISED TO DATE: £6,263.16
TOTAL RAISED TO DATE: £3,159.60
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT, PLEASE EMAIL FUNDRAISE@CHARLIEHOUSE.ORG.UK 10
OUR HEARTFELT THANKS FOR YOUR INCREDIBLE CONTINUED SUPPORT.
SAVE THE DATE
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY MARCH • Run Garioch, 24th March, Garioch • Fairytale Afternoon Tea (Team CHAMP), 24th March, The Carmelite Hotel
• Venture 2019 Awards Dinner, 28th March, Ardoe House Hotel • Dedicated 2 Girls Show, 30th March, Sandman Hotel
APRIL • Charlie House Quiz Night, 25th April, Old School House
• Charlie House Skydive, 27th April, Skydive St Andrews
• Run Balmoral, 27th & 28th April, Balmoral • Kiltwalk, 28th April, Glasgow
• Parent/Carer Coffee Morning, 29th April, Venue TBC
MAY • BHGE 10k, 5th May, Aberdeen Beach
• Newmachar 24hr Family Sportathon (Team CHAMP), 11th May, The Axis Centre & various other local venues
FORTHCOMING CHARLIE HOUSE FAMILY EVENTS
• Kiltwalk, 2nd June, Aberdeen
• Barn Dance, Friends of Charlie House Inverurie (FOCH) 8th June, Colliehill Farm
• Kiltwalk, 18th August, Dundee • Ride the North, 24th & 25th August, Castle Fraser to Elgin • Great Aberdeen Run, 25th August, Union Street
• Fizz & Fashion Friday, 30th August, Chester Hotel
• Machu Picchu Trek, 14th – 24th September, Peru • Kiltwalk, 15th September, Edinburgh
MARCH • Dad’s BrewDog Brunch and Beer Tasting • Under 5’s Abricabeats • Music Therapy Session • Parent/Carer Coffee Morning
APRIL • Sensory Disco • Little Lovies Little Parties, Siblings’ Club • Under 5’s Storyland Express and Softplay • Parents’ Session
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON BECOMING A SUPPORTED FAMILY OR TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ABOVE EVENTS, PLEASE CONTACT THE SERVICES TEAM ON 01224 313333 TO HAVE YOUR EVENT IN AID OF CHARLIE HOUSE FEATURED IN THE NEXT EDITION OF RECHARGE PLEASE EMAIL INFO@CHARLIEHOUSE.ORG.UK
RECHARGE CAFE PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO ‘RECHARGE’ AT NEW CITY CENTRE CAFÉ WITH 100% OF PROFITS TO GO TO CHARLIE HOUSE.
arlier this year we announced a wonderful opportunity for Charlie House in the shape of ReCHarge Café. Situated in Bon Accord, we will be running a new-look café where 100% of profits will come to Charlie House which supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, and their families, in the North-east of Scotland. Customers will be invited to pay based on their experience at ReCHarge Café and will be manned by both employees and volunteers. Tracy Johnstone, Chair of Charlie House, says, “We will be using the pay-what-you-want (PWYW) business model in our new café. We are asking customers to pay based on food offering and their experience at ReCHarge café and what they feel is reasonable. This type of café offering is used globally and has seen much success. It’s all about community and collaboration, people can feel good in themselves knowing that their daily coffee or lunch is also supporting a local charity.” Craig Stevenson, centre manager of Bon Accord, says, “We are very excited to partner with Charlie House on the evolution of the Tempo initiative. Thousands of pounds have been raised over the years and we look forward to
supporting another local charity. We are delighted to bring a globally successful concept to Aberdeen for our shoppers to experience and we know that ReCHarge will be very popular with our customers.” Tracy continues, “We look forward to bringing customers a first-class service and high-quality food and drinks with a view to introducing gluten-free and vegan offerings. The comfortable and welcoming space will also offer free wifi, charging points and Charlie House merchandise. The café also has the capacity to become a pop-up venue which will see us supporting other local businesses and initiatives and can be booked privately out of hours.” Leigh Ryrie, Children and Family Support Manager, says, “We are creating a changing space within the rear of the café which will have a manual hoist and changing bench, so users
can have the adequate space and privacy they require which is rare within café facilities in the city centre.” Leigh continues, “Due to the ideal city centre location of the café, it also enables our families to be able to spend time at ReCHarge whilst also being able to access other central amenities, thus limiting the number of transfer times from wheelchair to car for parents/carers.” Tracy concludes, “During our busy lives it is important to stop and take a moment. ReCHarge Café will be the space to do that within the busy city centre and accessible to all. We are encouraging the public to relax, refuel and ReCHarge whilst also supporting a local children’s charity. We are extremely grateful to Bon Accord for this opportunity and look forward to welcoming our first customers shortly.”
VOLUNTEERING AT RECHARGE CAFÉ PLEASE CONTACT: VOLUNTEER@CHARLIEHOUSE.ORG.UK
HOW YOU CAN HELP JOIN US!
As a small team at Charlie House we rely heavily on our volunteer network. Could you stand with us and make a difference in the lives of children in the North-east?
Your donation goes towards supporting the children and families we support. Just £10 enables one child to attend one of our activity clubs.
Shout about us! We have various social media platforms which we use to update our interested followers and supporters with our news, achievements and general good stuff. Sharing is caring so please help us spread the word about Charlie House.
We are always looking for:
Whether you like to bake and are having a coffee morning with friends or have decided to run your first marathon, why not fundraise for us at the same time? Whether you choose to bake, walk, run, cycle or swim, the Charlie House team can support you throughout your fundraising. If you are looking for a challenge, they can also advise on available spaces for various events throughout 2018.
• • • • • • •
Race marshalls Raffle sellers Cheer teams Refreshment hosts Event support Event promoters Bucket collectors and much more!
SHARING IS CARING SO PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT CHARLIE HOUSE.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN
DONATING, FUNDRAISING OR RAISING AWARENESS PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH THE CHARLIE HOUSE TEAM
01224 313333 email@example.com 38 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1YN
Registered charity - SCO42643
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