Meet Roz, Charlie House Children and Families Volunteer

  • 13th June, 2024
  • by Rachel Davidson
  • Hospice Week Volunteering
Roz Volunteer with Dolina

We caught up with Children and Family volunteer Roz to talk about her experiences and how much the Big Build means to her.

How long have you volunteered at Charlie House?

I first started volunteering in 2021 around Christmas time, originally at ReCHarge Café in the Bon Accord Centre. After the Christmas rush, things slowed down at ReCHarge. I had a conversation with a Charlie House staff member about my previous work experience with children with complex needs, and they suggested I put myself forward to become a Charlie House children and family volunteer. After attending a volunteering drop-in session, I took on the training needed to become involved with family activities. And, here I am today!

Can you tell us more about your experience as a children and family volunteer?

I've been attending family activities for a number of years now, and the magic of them truly never fades. I've participated in activities at Lochter, where families get to take part in paddle boarding, helped set up and run the Children's Christmas party, and even attended Charlie House's short stay break with the families. For me, the short stay break at The Rings is what brings everything together. You get to see the families' daily lives, rather than just a snapshot you would typically see at an activity. You really get the full picture and understand their struggles and difficulties that they tackle day in day out.

There's a huge range of activities that the team organises for the families which is just amazing. There is something for every family member, no matter their age or abilities. Families know that when they come to an activity, everything is planned and provided for them reducing any stresses or worries. It is a safe, non judgemental space where they can try new things and make precious memories.

Singing Hands and Staff wearing orange Charlie House t-shirts standing in a line

Do you have any special moments that stick out to you?

There have been so many! It's brilliant when you start to build a bond with the children. Some can be quite shy and closed off at first, but as they begin to recognise you and interact more, it becomes a really rewarding feeling. It's the little things, like seeing siblings play and simply just be kids without having to think about their parents' worries or their brother's or sister's needs. Or when a supported child makes a big step, such as participating in activities or opening up in some kind of way it's just amazing!

What difference do think it would make having a physical Charlie House build for supported families?

For me, I think it would give families a sense of security just knowing it exists. It’s there when they need it, whether it’s for a short trip or for more extensive support. Having a designated space they can access is essential and is really lacking in our local area. The activities are fun, but there are many other aspects that are important to the families.

Years ago, when I was working with families with complex needs, the support wasn’t available, which is still the case today, and I think that is very sad. It would be amazing to see the build become a reality because it’s been needed for such a long time. I feel bad for families, they have to fight for the simplest things in life, including things we take for granted. I think families simply want to get on with their lives and do things themselves, and for some they may feel like Charlie House is a last resort because they don't want to feel like they need help.

For more information on Charlie House's current support, click here:

For more information about the Big Build Appeal, click here: https://bigbuildcharliehouse.o...

Find out more about our Big Build Appeal

We don’t think it is acceptable for families to have to travel more than 100 miles to get support, respite and care when they need it. Charlie House is committed to building a specialist care facility for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions right here in the North East of Scotland.

Related articles

Learn more

Learn more

Charlie s House at Knockburn Loch 0022

Make a BIG difference

Help us improve the quality of life for children in the North-east of Scotland who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions

Every donation counts
Apple Pay
Google Pay