Meet Kerrie, a mum from Glass in Aberdeenshire whose family is supported by Charlie House.
Kerrie is a mum to two beautiful daughters, Hallie and Tilly, and a partner to Barry, who is her rock. They live on a small farm in Glass in Aberdeenshire where they farm livestock and enjoy the freedom of living in a beautiful countryside location. Both Kerrie and her husband work part-time and in their spare time enjoy spending time together as a family, tending to their animals while teaching their girls about farming life.
Tilly aka ‘T’
However, much of their spare time is taken up attending appointments and therapy as they support their youngest daughter Tilly who was born prematurely and diagnosed with Periventricular Leukomalacia at just 2 weeks old. Tilly was subsequently diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy the week before her first birthday, she also has Laryngomalacia and Bronchomalacia, as well as gastrointestinal issues.
Speaking of her daughter, Kerrie told Charlie House, “Despite her challenges, Tilly has defied the odds stacked against her and continues to amaze us daily. What Tilly has been through in the short 2 years of her life has definitely put our own lives into perspective, as well as teaching us to live with hope in our hearts.”
Support for the whole family
Kerrie and her family receive support from Charlie House, including emotional and therapeutic support from our services team and access to accessible activities. She first heard of our charity through a friend who also a family supported by us, “Initially I wrote it off, thinking we wouldn’t qualify for support from Charlie House. However, after an initial meeting with Leigh [Charlie House’s Children and Family Support Manager] I realised not just that we were perfectly versed to receive support, but also that being involved with Charlie House could provide us with so many opportunities for both the girls and us as a family.”
“Charlie House has been an amazing support for both the girls and me. It is so heart-warming and reassuring to know that there is always someone to talk to who can relate, whether that be Leigh and the team, or a fellow parent/carer.”
She continues, “We haven't been able to get along to many of the in-person activities yet however the postal activities have been brilliant, and have given our eldest daughter Hallie a lovely treat, distracting her mind from the craziness of everyday life with a little T. The thing I love most about CH is that they support not only the child with a disability/condition, but also the siblings around that child. They really understand the importance of providing support holistically.”
The Glass community goes above and beyond
The amazing community in Glass, Aberdeenshire where Kerrie and her family live take part in fundraisers all year round including an annual sponsored walk which sees them walking a distance of 8-10 miles. In an incredible showcase of support, the community decided to split the funds between the Glass Community Association and Charlie House – raising over £1,300 for both causes.
Speaking of their walk and the community’s decision to honour Tilly with the fundraising, Kerrie said, “The community Secretary contacted me and advised me that the community had discussed and wished to donate the other half of funds raised to a charity who support Tilly - I chose Charlie House without hesitation. We take part in the sponsored walk every year, and this year was no different. Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favour and the majority of our walk was spent feeling very soggy, but we completed it, both girls included. There were a few tricky off-road parts, but the community rallied together to ensure that we could make it work for everyone, buggies included. Tilly really enjoyed the walk, socialising with many and the frequent handout of chocolate to keep our spirits up as we made our way to the finish.”
“We can't thank everyone enough not only for their help on the day, but for every day. We are so fortunate to live in such a great place, within such a close-knit community, who all look out for, and support each other, regardless of the circumstances - we really do have the best people around us.”
Building and maintaining community
The Charlie House dream has always been to build a specialist support facility in North-east Scotland so that families like Kerrie’s can access the vital support they require. Stories such as theirs give us the inspiration we need to continue fighting for this dream, so that we can build and maintain a community of support, much like the community of Glass, and a home away from home.
If you are looking for support for your family, fill out the family referral form today by clicking here.
To fundraise in your community, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org