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Š Sally Jubb Photography

Children, young people and their families at the heart of all we do.

Spring/Summer 2014

Creating Memories Making the time families have together as special as possible

Inside this issue...

Diana Children’s Nurses

Ewan McGregor visits Rachel House

Treasure Hunting

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Welcome... I want to start this issue of CHAS Chat by saying a huge thank you to all of you, our supporters, who continue to amaze us with your kindness and generosity. In this edition there are lots of examples of the many different contributions that you make - all of them are hugely appreciated. As you know, the past couple of years have been challenging in terms of fundraising, but you continue to support us in any way you can. And a very special thank you to all of you who generously donated to our Christmas Appeal which raised over £35,000.

Your support allows us to continue to offer the best possible care to the children and young people who use our hospices. We are constantly striving to work with the families to make sure that we are providing them with what they need – on page 10 you can read about the Smith family and how much their recent stays at Rachel House have meant to them. None of the work we do would be possible without the support you give us – we need to raise over £9 million each year to run our hospices so that children and young people with life-shortening conditions get the best possible care. We are very grateful that you choose to help CHAS – thank you. n

Karen Playfair Editor

al n o s r e P r u Yo Invitation

Photo: P aul Ham pton

Without our supporters Robin House and Rachel House would not be able to provide the fantastic care they do. We would love to show you exactly where your generosity helps and invite you to come along to our annual open days. There won’t be any planned stays by children or families on these two days, but we will give you a tour of the hospices and tell you more about what we do. There is no need to book and please bring any friends and family with you! n

Wednesday 2 April 2014 - 10am-7pm Robin House, 2 Boturich Road, Balloch, G83 8LX Tuesday 29 April 2014 - 10am-7pm Rachel House, Avenue Road, Kinross, KY13 8FX We hope to see you there! n 2

on ul Hampt Photo: Pa

Photo: George McCluskie

Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) is a charity that provides the only hospice services in Scotland for children and young people with life-shortening conditions. CHAS offers care in two children’s hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch. The hospices support the whole family by offering short planned breaks, emergency support, end of life care and a range of bereavement services. CHAS also provides a home care service, called CHAS at Home, staffed from both hospices and with dedicated teams based in Aberdeen and Inverness. The service offers care to families in their own homes when they need it most. CHAS supports over 300 families, as well as a significant number of families who receive bereavement support. The services are funded mainly through the generosity of the many supporters who help raise £9 million needed each year to provide these vital hospice services. n

Gordon Brown MP visits CHAS with good news for palliative care

Following the 16th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, Gordon Brown MP made a special visit to Rachel House in September to announce a first for Scotland, the appointment of three Diana Children’s Nurses employed by CHAS. During the visit Gordon Brown MP got the opportunity to meet families and children who would benefit from the additional nursing posts. The children’s nurses funded by up to £275,000 each year from the UK Government will commemorate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. They will work across Scotland to develop children’s palliative care with each based in one area, West, East and North. The recruitment process is currently in the advanced stage with appointments due to be confirmed soon. The successful candidates, following a period of intensive induction, will be available to offer expert care and advice to families and children who use CHAS services across Scotland. Maria McGill, CHAS Chief Executive said:

“Our vision is that children and young people in Scotland will have access to palliative care when and where they need it and these posts will be a significant step in achieving that vision.” n


Photo: Paul Hampton

Leading the way: Non-Medical Prescribers

At CHAS we are always looking for ways to improve all aspects of our services to our families, children and young people. A couple of years ago CHAS offered the nursing staff within the Care Teams of Robin and Rachel House the opportunity to extend their current roles and undertake a six month intensive university course to qualify them as independent prescribers. This means a nurse is qualified to independently assess, diagnose and prescribe, where necessary, a course of treatment for a child or young person without the immediate involvement of a doctor. Caroline Porter tells us about becoming a Non-Medical Prescriber …. “In February 2012 I started the non-medical prescribing course at the University of the West of Scotland. This was an excellent opportunity for my own continuing professional development and there were clear benefits for the children, young people and families that require CHAS’s services and also for the Care Team and medical staff within CHAS. Children and families benefit from the more immediate ability to make changes to current 4

prescriptions when a doctor is not available. When children arrive at the hospice for a short planned break their medications are checked with their parents against the hospice prescription sheet to ensure the correct dosages of medicines are prescribed. Due to the complex nature of their conditions the children’s medications may need to be altered frequently. Therefore as a Non-Medical Prescriber, I can make appropriate changes to medications on arrival, allowing the family some immediate respite, without them having to wait for a doctor. I have now been successfully prescribing in Robin House since October 2012, and I now have another colleague here at Robin House and one at Rachel House who have completed the course.” CHAS is leading the way in children’s palliative care as there are very few Non-Medical Prescribers within children’s hospices elsewhere in the UK. We shortly intend to audit our service so that we can measure the benefits this new initiative has brought to children, families and the team. n

Photo: Rob McDougall

Spring/Summer 2014

Celebrity visits In the past year we have been lucky enough to have visits from a number of high profile people to the hospices, helping raise awareness for our work and provide excitement for all the families visiting during this time. Long-standing celebrity supporters Ewan McGregor and Sharleen Spiteri both visited Rachel House during 2013 to meet families and see what changes had been made to the building since their last visits and generally catch up on CHAS news. Photo: Rob Mc Dougall

For families it was a once in a lifetime chance to get up close to these celebrities who provide tremendous support to CHAS. Ewan and Sharleen both spent time chatting to families, staff and volunteers during their visits and having photos taken as special mementos of the day. Sharleen’s visit was ahead of her appearance at T in the Park with band Texas and for the young adults who were due to attend the event it was a great start to the weekend. Speaking about the visit Ewan, who arrived at the hospice on his motorbike accompanied by his dad, said:

“Rachel House will always have a special significance to me. There’s so much fun and laughter about the place and you can see how important it is for the children and their families.” n


Beat the Borders To ‘Beat the Borders’ you can take on either the bronze, silver or gold route. Here’s what’s involved with this fun and challenging event: Cycle 40 miles, walk or jog the eight miles to the silver finish and then dig in for a further ten miles by foot. It’s a challenge alright! Take the cycle and add on an eight mile walk or jog across the Border hills. Added excitement comes from the challenges along the route. 40 mile, on road, cycle. Get to the top of Scott’s View, enjoy the breath-taking scenery then settle in for an undulating ride on stunning roads. Everyone who finishes bronze, silver or gold will be rewarded with a fantastic barbeque, party, band, goodie bag, amazing medal and of course a well-deserved event t-shirt. Don’t just take our word for it though. We’ve had some amazing feedback from last year’s event and here’s what one of the participants, Alan Mochrie from an RBS team, thought about the day; 6

“It was an incredible event. Organisation was first class from the lead up to registration on Friday night right through to Saturday evening. The event itself was just amazing, one of the best signposted and marshalled events any of us had ever competed in. The marshals were always there at junctions with a friendly word of encouragement and a point in the right direction. The zip slide at the end was just genius, and as someone who is petrified of heights it was the last thing I wanted to see. But having travelled 58 miles and never having thought I could do that, the zip slide was not going to beat me - just brilliant to end with a surprise like that. A huge thanks for the event…we will probably pull in over £3,500 from the four of us in the coming weeks; which eases the pain in the legs a little.” For more information on this year’s Beat the Borders, go to or phone Alana Maxwell on 0131 444 4904. n

Lunching with CHAS 2013 saw three fantastic ladies lunches in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. This was only possible through the generous support and time given by our amazing committee members. CHAS were lucky enough to have celebrity entertainment at each event including famous faces such as Michelle McManus and Jane McCarry. The events were full of sparkle and laughter, games and fantastic prizes and, as well as giving our guests an unforgettable afternoon out, they also raised awareness and valuable funds for CHAS. In total the lunches were attended by almost 800 guests and raised over £75,000!

Our ladies lunch events this year are as follows:

Friday 6 June Radisson Blu, Glasgow Thursday 25 September The Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen Friday 7 November Prestonfield House, Edinburgh

For more information or to book a table please contact Criona Knight, on 0131 444 4911 or We hope to see you there! n

©D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2013

Join Team CHAS for the Kiltwalk! For more info on all the walks and to sign up head to and make sure you join ‘Team CHAS’ and enter ‘teamchas’ as your password.


Photo: Paul Hampton

support CHAS? Photo: Maverick Photography

CHAS is funded mainly through the generosity of the many supporters who help raise over £9 million needed each year to provide our vital hospice services. In the past year, over £1.4million of this money came from the generous gifts people left us in their Wills. CHAS are now working in partnership with solicitors across Scotland to encourage more people to make a Will, whilst also supporting CHAS. These firms have agreed to waive their basic Will-writing fee from 26-30 May 2014, and instead invite clients to make a donation to CHAS.

WILL you

You can find your nearest participating solicitor by calling 0131 444 4915 or visiting


All the money raised through CHAS Make a Will Week will help us to make the time that families have together as special as possible – so WILL you… help us to make a difference? n

It’s a bug’s life! Bugs can book a stay at the exclusive Robin House Bug Hotel. The Bug Hotels have been created by local community groups and schools to play an important part in the multifaceted garden at Robin House. The bug hotels are located in strategic parts of the garden, so that they can perform a vital role in keeping the eco-system balanced they ensure that different bugs are given a chance to thrive and can work to maximum effect in the garden.

mind and body with tranquil areas for reflection, sensory spaces for children and young people to explore, pirate ships and racing cars to play in and vegetable plots full of organically grown produce. The home-grown produce can be used in the kitchen at Robin House or for families to take home at the end of the stay. n

The dedicated team of staff and volunteers have created a garden that nourishes the heart,


Hampton Photo: Paul

Photo: Paul Hampton

Photo: Paul Ha mpton

Spring cleaning

Photo: Paul Hampton

Keeping Rachel House and Robin House spotlessly clean for the families, children and young people who stay there is vitally important. To help us do that, we have 36 fantastic volunteers who help our housekeeping teams in the two hospices: they range in age from 16 – 80 years old! The housekeeping volunteers help with every aspect of housework. They do everything from cleaning door handles and light switches every day to sanitising toys for infection control, vacuuming miles of carpet, changing beds and preparing parents’ bedrooms. This ensures that when families arrive in their rooms they always look warm, comfortable and welcoming. Mairi Mulhern, who is 17 years old, goes to Rachel House every Tuesday after school for a couple of hours, and told CHAS Chat about being a housekeeping volunteer for CHAS “I really like getting to meet all the people – the staff and the families – they’re all lovely. It’s a really happy place and everyone’s so friendly, and it’s nice to be involved behind the scenes.” Lorraine, Head Housekeeper at Rachel House, told us how much she appreciates all the time and energy the volunteers contribute: “I really take my hat off to them all – Mairi comes in after school to help and she and the others are all really keen and willing to do absolutely everything; they are all really reliable and happy in what they do. They also help me with the monthly audit that we do to check the cleanliness of the building – it’s really good to have fresh pairs of eyes and to get their point of view” n.

Volunteering Opportunities For information on volunteering with CHAS, visit or call 0131 444 1900.

Cleaning tips from our Housekeeping Teams n to get coffee/tea stains out of cups without

using nasty chemicals dampen the inside of the cup and rub with normal salt and rinse

n to save their backs when dusting/cleaning

skirting boards the team attach a cloth onto a bendy stick so they can walk around cleaning lowdown surfaces. n


What CHAS means to us Diane Smith talks about her family, and explains the part that CHAS plays in supporting them. “We’re just a normal family. My husband, Steven, and I have three children - Lewis is 15, and his sisters Lexie and Charley are six and two. When Lewis was born he was a healthy baby, but when he was just 20 days old he contracted Strep B Meningitis and as a result he has severe cerebral palsy. We were recently referred to Rachel House and have been there twice now, and due to go again soon for our third visit. We are really looking forward to it and I don’t know what I’d do without them now, I just love it! It is an amazing place and they are just so lovely with Lewis. Actually, they’re lovely with everybody and the girls really enjoy their time there too.


Spring/Summer 2014

aphy le © Sally Jubb Photogr All pictures in this artic

Lexie and Charley make the most of the dressing up box at Rachel House

Lewis is visually impaired, has epilepsy and is in a wheelchair all the time and has had many operations over the years. He can’t communicate but we know when he’s happy because he blows bubbles – he does a lot of that when he’s at Rachel House! It feels like a home from home – all the staff are so cheery, and because none of the nurses are in uniforms, it doesn’t feel clinical at all – it makes it a really welcoming, and friendly place. For us Rachel House offers so many different things. It’s a really relaxing place to go. I feel Lewis is so well looked after and there is somebody else to do everything that I would normally do for him.

We get to spend time with the girls, and most days we manage to go out somewhere. Last time we were there we were able to leave Lewis and do all our Christmas shopping as well as visit some friends – it sounds mundane, but for us it’s often really hard to do the things that other people take for granted. Rachel House gives us the chance to do that. I am really grateful to everybody who supports CHAS – what they are able to do for families like us is invaluable. I am even planning on doing some of my own fundraising and am going to do a Skydive in aid of CHAS this year!” n 11

Treasure hunting has never been so much fun! As the cost of everyday living rises, more and more shoppers are including charity shops into their high street shopping experience. And in response to this new demand CHAS has opened four bright, breezy and bustling new shops in the past year alone, each shop developing its own unique identity and loyal customers. Whether it’s designer or vintage pieces, arts and crafts, collectables, contemporary bric-a-brac or classic labels, we have treasure to suit all purses in our CHAS high street and community shops; our friendly and knowledgeable staff and volunteers are only too willing to help you find them a new home! As well as our established shops in Kinross, our flagship shop CHAS at Byres Road in Glasgow has recently celebrated its first birthday. Byres Road is brimming with vintage and collectable gems and is fast earning a reputation as one of the most innovative charity shops in Glasgow. Our two boutique shops

Search for bargains on 12

in Dunfermline offer beautiful collections of stylish bric-a-brac, smart clothing and accessories in both East Port and Duloch. Our newest shop will continue to fly CHAS’s flag of high quality and offer a similar experience to the shoppers of Stirling. If you enjoy the thrill of an auction, why not visit our online eBay shop “Treasures at CHAS” to find even more hidden treasures and a selection of new goods from our gift shop. If you would like us to recycle some of your unwanted treasures and help support CHAS you can donate them to any of our shops or telephone us on 01577 864692 to arrange a collection. Or if you would like to volunteer in any of our shops, please just get in touch with Will McLean on 01577 865005 or n

Photo: Paul Hampton

Photo: Paul Hampton

Zoolab visit to Robin House

Zoolab come to Robin House regularly but this visit was at half term so was particularly busy with lots of children, young people and their families able to enjoy the experience. Alanna from Zoolab brought along all our usual friends: centipedes, frogs, snakes, snails and cockroaches, as well as a very unusual new addition – a pygmy hedgehog. There was a competition amongst the children to name him – and he was christened “Spikey” by Vinnie Busby, one of the children enjoying a break at Robin House. The opportunity to experience seeing, hearing and feeling all the different creatures, and share it with their brothers and sisters, is really special and a lot

of fun for the children and young people. Alanna understands that some children can’t see or hear so she takes more time to introduce the different animals and offers touch sessions: each child is very different in their response to having a hairy centipede crawl around their arm or feel how cool the snake feels. But they all really enjoy interacting with them, as proved by these photos! Often the children’s responses are unexpected and we have had mums or dads amazed at the way their child has reacted to the tiny creatures. The children and young people also enjoy the reactions of the staff who, it has to be said, are often not as “brave or adventurous” as them. n

Birds of prey visit Rachel House Archie from Alba Falconry recently visited Rachel House with his beautiful birds of prey. One look at the children’s faces said it all, they were grinning from ear to ear. The children loved being able to get to see the birds up close and personal and really being able to touch the birds and feel the air from their wings, as the birds flew over the children.

One young man even enjoyed taking one of the birds for a tour of the hospice! Meanwhile, there was a fantastic treat in store for parents and staff alike: the chance to experience flying Harry the Harris Hawk in the gardens. n

One of the most exciting and exhilarating parts of Archie’s visit was when the birds flew between Archie and his colleague. These magnificent birds flew over the children’s beds and the sensory experience this gave the children was immense. 13

Photo: Paul Hampton

ton Photo: Paul Hamp

Inverkeithing High School held their annual “Torture the Teacher” event with waxing, gunging and pie throwing very much the order the day!

Schools put the “Fun” into fundraising!


Pupils and students of all ages right across the country are getting involved in fundraising for CHAS. From bake sales to onesie days, sponsored walks to teddy bear picnics, there are lots of unique and different events you can hold in your local primary or high school. Contact your local CHAS office to find out how your school can get involved and how we can help you with your fundraising. n

Children’s Hospice Week is the UK’s only awareness raising and fundraising week for children with life-shortening conditions and the children’s hospices that support them.

This year the week will celebrate the incredible care provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by children’s hospices from across the UK. There are many ways to take part for CHAS; why not convince your friends or colleagues to be sponsored to dress up as their heroes for ‘Hero Friday’ on 20 June? Contact your local fundraising office for further information and more ideas of how you can get involved. n

Gordon Friends of CHAS Award Massive congratulations to the Gordon District Friends of CHAS group from Ellon in Aberdeenshire who were awarded the Daily Record Our Heroes Award for Fundraising 2013. Over the years the group have raised over £250,000 as well as working tirelessly to raise awareness of CHAS in the North East of Scotland. We are overwhelmed by their ongoing support and commitment to CHAS. n


Everybody got really involved and with the help of a bucket shake, Inverkeithing High School raised nearly £200.

Photo: Paul Hampton


Picture Perfect

Spring/Summer 2014

The Polaroid 10K series is an exciting set of runs taking part in Helensburgh, Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Clydebank. Not only did Polaroid choose CHAS as their charity partner for 2013 but they kindly provided 400 pairs of sunglasses for Beat the Borders. Thank you to everyone who took part in the races and to Polaroid for their truly amazing support. £2500 was donated to CHAS from the event and we are lucky enough to be their charity partner for 2014 too! If you are a keen runner, please sign up!

Tea-Tastic! Congratulations to the volunteers at the Dumbarton Sherif Court Tearoom who have raised an amazing £100,412.68 since 2002. CHAS would like to say a special thank you to each and every one of the volunteers who continue to work so hard to raise as much money as possible. We think you are all fantastic, what a total! n

Fun, runs and adventure: Diary 2014 If you’re looking for a challenge for 2014 and would like to raise funds for CHAS at the same time, why not join Team CHAS for one of these exciting events? Sunday 13 April Killiecrankie Bungee Jump Saturday 26 April Kinross Sportive Sunday 27 April Glasgow Kiltwalk Saturday 3 - 10 May Malin to Mizen Bike Ride Sunday 11 May Edinburgh Kiltwalk Sunday 11 May Glasgow Women’s 10k      Thursday 15 May Polaroid Eyewear 10k, Helensburgh

Sunday 18 May Forth Rail Bridge Abseil

Sunday 24 August Killiecrankie Bungee Jump

Thursday 22 May Polaroid Eyewear 10k, Clydebank

Saturday 30 August Beat the Borders

Saturday 24 - 25 May Edinburgh Marathon Festival

Saturday 6 September Highland Perthshire Marathon and Half Marathon Run or Bike

Thursday 29 May Polaroid Eyewear 10k, Dumbarton Sunday 1 June Aberdeen Kiltwalk Sunday 8 June Polaroid Eyewear 10k and Family Fun Runs, Vale of Leven

Sunday 14 September Speyside Kiltwalk Sunday 21 September Spartan Race, Pencaitland Sunday 28 September Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Sunday 22 June Titan Crane Bungee Jump, Clydebank

Sunday 5 October Titan Crane Bungee Jump, Clydebank

Sunday 22 June Orchill 5k and 10k, Gleneagles

Sunday 5 October Dundee Kiltwalk

To find out more about any of these events or to sign up, go to the CHAS website by visiting or phone Alana Maxwell on 0131 444 4904. n

Shop with CHAS CHAS at Murray Place 58 Murray Place, Stirling, FK8 2BU Tel: 01786 446400 Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm  Sunday 11am to 4pm CHAS at Byres Road 135 Byres Road, Glasgow, G12 8TT Tel: 0141 357 6884 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.30pm. Sunday 12 to 5pm

The Gift Shop 23 Avenue Road, Kinross, KY13 8EP Tel: 01577 865557 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm

CHAS at Duloch 5a Turnstone Road, Duloch, Dunfermline, KY11 8JZ Tel: 01383 723515 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Bazaar 1 88 High Street, Kinross, KY13 8AJ Tel: 01577 861380 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm

CHAS at East Port 32-34 East Port, Dunfermline, KY12 7JB Tel: 01383 741111 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm

Bazaar 2 76 High Street, Kinross, KY13 8AJ Tel: 01577 865190 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm

Find more great deals at:

Keep up to date with CHAS news...

Contact us...

tel: 0141 779 6180

CHAS Glasgow email:

CHAS Kinross childrenshospiceassociationscotland

tel: 01577 865222


CHAS Edinburgh tel: 0131 444 1515 email:

CHAS Aberdeen tel: 01224 645000


Retail Team tel: 01577 864692


Outdoor Events Team tel: 0131 444 4904

Head Office tel: 0131 444 1900 Scottish charity number SC 019724



Canal Court 42 Craiglockhart Avenue, Edinburgh EH14 1LT

CHAS Chat Spring Summer 2014