Uplifting atmosphere at CHAS

FOUR-FIGURE CHEQUE: David Strathearn (centre) receiving the �1,000 cheque from Jim Houston (left) who organised the race night, and Brechin Rotary Club president Dave Howson.

FOUR-FIGURE CHEQUE: David Strathearn (centre) receiving the �1,000 cheque from Jim Houston (left) who organised the race night, and Brechin Rotary Club president Dave Howson.

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DAVID Strathearn, a fund-raising manager from the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), was at Brechin Rotary Club’s meeting at the Caledonian Hotel the other week, to speak about the work that CHAS does in Scotland.

David gave an outline of the history of CHAS, which runs Rachel House in Kinross, Robin House in Balloch and CHAS at home services in Inverness and Aberdeen.

He said it provides the only hospice services in Scotland for children and young people with life-shortening conditions, but costs £9 million a year to run, with a huge amount coming from individuals and small organisations.

David, who is a Rotarian himself from Oldmeldrum, said that Rotary Clubs had donated £1 million since CHAS was formed.

He went on to explain just how the whole family is supported at the two hospices by offering short planned breaks, emergency support, end of life care and a range of bereavement services.

David said the home care service is staffed from both hospices and dedicated teams in the North of Scotland offering care to families in their own homes when they need it most.

A DVD presentation, featuring Ewan McGregor, completed the evening with some inspiring and moving accounts summed up with the words “For the laughter we’ve shared, the tears we’ve shed, the love we’ve felt, and the support throughout, we are eternally grateful to all our friends at Rachel House.”

Brechin Rotary Club decided to support CHAS this year by raising funds and awareness.

The club had a recent outing to Rachel House, where they found an uplifting atmosphere, being particularly impressed by the dedication and love of the many unpaid volunteers. Brechin Rotary’s subsequent race night enabled the club to present a cheque for £1,000.