It is always upsetting when a loved one has to go into hospital for an illness or operation.
But if that hospital is miles away, making visiting difficult and expensive, then it can be a particularly stressful time.
Not just for the visitor, but for the patient, who may then worry about their loved ones having to make long and difficult trips, just to see them.
For some people, especially those living in the far reaches of the Highlands and Islands, it’s not just a case of hopping on a bus or train but could mean having to organise flights and ferries as well.
Thank goodness then for the British Red Cross.
While we may associate it with helping less fortunate souls in far-flung destinations, it also gives a huge amount of support to people in this part of the world.
The British Red Cross has years of experience of caring for people in crisis and in Aberdeen has a unique guest house.
The Red Cross Aberdeen guesthouse provides a home-from-home to support relatives of loved ones in hospital who have difficulty travelling, as well as a haven for outpatients attending specialist clinics or undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and dialysis.
Last year the guesthouse, which is open every day, all year round, provided accommodation to more than 5,000 patients and relatives from Orkney, Shetland, rural Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Highlands and further afield.
Located within walking distance of Aberdeen city centre and accessible to all, the newly refurbished guesthouse offers a friendly and relaxed environment for people in need.
It has 18 twin en suite bedrooms, family rooms, rooms with disabled access, a lounge, dining, kitchen and laundry facilities.
Those staying here can also take advantage of organised transport from the guest house to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary which also takes away the worry of trying to make your way around a big city like Aberdeen.
A quick glance at the guest book and it’s easy to see what a boon it’s been to those who have stayed here:
“An excellent place to stay for the hospital, thank you for your flexibility and support and for the super facilities you provide.”
“A super home from home – fantastic staff, lovely food, safety and warmth in abundance. Thank you.”
“So nice to come back to after long days at hospital. Warm, friendly and excellent accommodation.”
“Thank you for your help and a comfortable room. A place to stay when you need it most.”
“For 30 years we have been able to use this homely place. It has always been calming, clean and a place to recharge after a hospital visit – thank you so much.”
“Thank you all very much for a comfortable stay in
such a nice clean and friendly place during my time
supporting dad in ARI.”
“A wonderful haven in times of emotional stress. Excellent in all respects. Thank you very much.”
Guests who have stayed here are extremely grateful to be offered a place in this city centre haven, but in order to be able to continue offering this service, the charity needs a lot of money.
Without donations from its generous supporters the Red Cross would be unable to continue much of its vital work in Aberdeen, across the UK and abroad.
Last year it received almost a quarter of its donations through gifts in wills enabling the British Red Cross not only to respond immediately when crisis strikes but allowing it to plan longer term and fund a wide range of projects to support people in need.
If you would like to find out more about remembering the British Red Cross in your will please call: 0844 412 2848 or e-mail email@example.com