To recognise Children’s Hospice Week (22nd-28th June) we want to share some stories about how Charlie House helps and supports local families, now and in the future.
North-east Scotland currently has no dedicated respite facilities for children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions. The nearest suitable facility is more than 100 miles from Aberdeen, and even further for those living further north or in the Northern Isles.
The Charlie House dream has always been to have a dedicated, purpose-built facility right here in the North-east offering local support to local families.
We launched our £8 million Big Build Appeal in November 2018 to make this dream a reality.
The centre will include eight children’s bedrooms, each of which features accessible en-suite facilities, full-room hoisting facilities and direct access to the outdoors. Families will have the opportunity to bring their own finishing touches to personalise the room and make it feel more homely, like bedding and photographs to make the room feel more comfortable and familiar. The families will also have access to the gardens from each of the children's rooms, to bring the outside in as much as possible.
A family suite will also be created featuring eight en-suite family bedrooms, an open plan lounge, kitchenette and dining area, and a therapy room. This will give families the opportunity to stay close to their child while taking time out from their day-to-day caring responsibilities to enjoy some respite and to recharge their batteries.
There will also be a sensory room which will have its own magical environment which can be tailored to each child’s individual needs. Families will be able to use this room together to relax and make lasting memories, and to give children some much-needed time away from the medical equipment and intervention that has become such a huge part of their lives.
Other facilities available in the centre include a craft room, a therapeutic play area, a soft play area, a spa pool which can be used for family relaxation or fun sessions but where specialists can also provide sessions like physiotherapy, and a teenage den kitted out with up-to-date technology to meet the needs of the teenagers. There will be a variety of events and activities taking place daily, and there will be a safe space where families can access emotional, practical or pre- and post-bereavement support, either individually or as a family.
The final room at Charlie House will be an incredibly special space – the Star Room. Sadly, some children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions will pass away. The Star Room will give families a dedicated private space to spend time with their child after they have died, treasure memories and receive visitors in a supported environment.
The facilities inside our specialist support centre will provide vital support to families here in the North-east, giving them the help and support they need, when and where they need it.
To enable us to provide vital support to families now and in the future, we need your help to Support Our Services. Please text CHARLIESOS to 70085 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 + one standard network message).
Motivated to make a larger donation? Click here to donate and remember to tell us in the comments if you would like to support our Big Build Appeal.