A north-east children’s charity has received £50,000 to help parents cope with the “rollercoaster of emotions” that come with having a poorly youngster.
Charlie House has been pledged the huge sum by Apache North Sea.
The cash will go towards the charity’s Big Build Appeal, a campaign which has been launched to help amass £8 million for the Charlie House Specialist Support Centre.
The money will be ploughed into a special counselling room at the site to help people deal with the emotional toll of having an ill relative.
Need for such a space
Chairwoman of Charlie House, Tracy Johnstone, explained the value of a space to help families “take care of their own wellbeing” in the new centre.
She said: “Being a parent is hard enough, but nothing prepares you for being the parent of a child with a life-limiting condition and the rollercoaster of emotions that become a daily occurrence.
“The £50,000 donated by Apache will fund a private, calm, relaxed and safe space.”
The easily accessible counselling room will be on the ground floor of the Charlie House Specialist Support Centre.
The room will be furnished to provide a welcoming and comfortable place for families to speak with support staff while their child is being treated there.
The counselling room will also be used to schedule specific appointments with family members as well as to accommodate a family member who may need a moment to reflect on entering or leaving the centre.
‘Comfortable and calm environment’
Leigh Ryrie, children and family support manager, added: “Many elements of a family’s journey with Charlie House can be daunting.
“It could be that it is the first time they are visiting the Specialist Support Centre to look round it, or perhaps they want to speak to someone in private or simply that they need to take a moment to gather themselves.
“We want the space to be private, welcoming and comfortable, somewhere that allows the family members to engage with support and express themselves.”
Mairi Smith, technical assistant and Apache Bond Committee member, added: “Charlie House’s vision for a specialist care centre, complete with its counselling room, will transform the support available to children and their families.”
Big Build Appeal
Launched in November 2018, The Big Build Appeal called upon the people and businesses of north-east to help raise millions needed for the new site.
The centre will support babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions and will be built in the grounds of Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen.
It will be an eight-bedroom centre, with additional family accommodation, set in four acres of ground.
The state-of-the-art building will feature a sensory room, library, spa pool, craft room, teen den, soft play area, therapy room, star room for end-of-life care and bereavement, outdoor play area and sensory gardens.
Tracy added: “Right from the start the north-east got behind our Big Build Appeal, we’re grateful that momentum has continued and are absolutely delighted to be announcing such a considerable pledge.”
“We will feature a bespoke plaque outside the counselling room in recognition of Apache’s support of our Big Build Appeal.”
For further information on the Charlie House Big Build Appeal and project, and to find out how you can support the charity, people can visit
or call 01224 313333.