North-East Urged to ‘Dig Deep’ As Charity Launches ‘Big Build Appeal’ For Children’s Specialist Support Centre

Charlie House launches its public ‘Big Build Appeal’ to engage and call on people in the North-east of Scotland to support its three-year fundraising campaign to raise £8millon for the Charlie House Specialist Support Centre.

The specialist support centre, which will support babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, will be built in the grounds of Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen. It will be an 8-bedroom centre, with additional family accommodation, set in 4 acres of ground. The state-of-the-art building will feature a sensory room, library, spa pool, craft room, teen den, soft play area, therapy room, star room, for end-of-life care & bereavement, outdoor play area and sensory gardensas well as adaptable meeting space and office space for the Charlie House team and medical staff.

The charity held a drop-in event at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa to mark the ‘Big Build Appeal’ launch, which saw invited guests attend to view the plans, hear from Charlie House Chair Tracy Johnstone, find out more about the centre and how to get involved. The build will be the first of its kind in the North-east of Scotland with families currently having to travel over 100 miles to Kinross to access planned and emergency short breaks, palliative and end-of-life care. 

The charity starts its public fundraising campaign with a £1million fund which has been raised to date through various events, fundraising and donations and has been restricted for the build project. 

Tracy Johnstone, Chair of Charlie House, says, “This is a historical day for the charity and the team is so excited to launch the Big Build Appeal and rally the people of the North-east of Scotland to get involved. We are pleased to announce that we begin the appeal with a £1million fund pot which is a wonderful starting point, but we need the support of the people of the North-east to help us reach our target. We are calling on individuals, groups, schools and local businesses to support this life-changing project. We know first-hand the generosity and kindness of the North-east and know that they will stand together to support Charlie House.”

Tracy continues, “We are so passionate about bringing this centre to the city. This project has always been about offering the families we support choice. Choice as to where their child is cared for and in what type of environment. The state-of-the-art specialist support centre will be the first of its kind in the region to offer these support services to the people of the North-east of Scotland encompassing the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland. 

Professor Nick Fluck, Medical Director at NHS Grampian says, “This is an exciting and milestone day for Charlie House. It will be hugely encouraging to see the North-east get behind the public campaign for the specialist support centre in Aberdeen. There are currently around 1,500 children and young people in the North-east of Scotland requiring specialist support and this facility will offer them both support and care. We are looking forward to watching the progress of the campaign.” 

The public is being asked to use #CountMeIn and #DigDeepNorthEast to show their support on social media. 

To donate to the Charlie House Big Build Appeal visit https://www.charliehouse.org.uk/support-us/ways-to-give/donate/or call 01224 313333.

To find out more about how you can support the Big Build Appeal, please contact bigbuild@charliehouse.org.uk

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