A children’s charity has revealed multi-million-pound plans to build a brand new centre for children from all across the north-east, Highlands, Orkney and Shetland with serious disabilities and life-limiting conditions.
The Aberdeen-based Charlie House organisation has submitted a joint planning application with NHS Grampian to create a major development close to Woodend Hospital.
The charity, which offers disability-friendly days out to families throughout Aberdeen City and Shire and supports parents dealing with bereavement, aims to widen the range of services it provides with the eight-bedroom centre.
The Charlie House team hopes the new facility – which features a sensory room, library, spa pool, craft room, soft play area and therapy facilities – will make a huge difference for families of children living with severe disabilities and children requiring palliative care.
Tracy Johnstone, the chairwoman of Charlie House said: “The long-term vision and dream for the charity has always been to have a purpose-built centre in Aberdeen to provide planned and emergency short breaks, palliative and end-of-life care for children.
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“Sadly, north-east families currently have to travel more than 100 miles to Kinross to access this type of service.
“This project has always been about offering the families we support choice – choice as to where their child is cared for, and in what type of environment.
“The state-of-the-art specialist support centre will be the first of its kind in the region to offer these support services to the people of the north-east of Scotland, encompassing the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland.
“From making keepsakes and memory boxes in the craft room, to enjoying time together as a family in the spacious sensory garden, Charlie House will be where precious memories are made and treasured for years to come.”
Professor Nick Fluck, medical director at NHS Grampian, added: “The Charlie House facility will empower parents and carers with the choice of where they receive support and care at a very difficult time.
“There are currently around 1,500 children and young people in the north-east of Scotland receiving palliative care.
“We are looking forward to the centre becoming a reality.”