Work to transform one of the most vital areas of the north-east’s children’s hospital will begin this month.
Families of sick children at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) were asked by the hospital’s official charity what makes the biggest difference for them while their little ones are being treated.
One of the most frequent answers was the parent’s accommodation, a free-to-use 24-bed accommodation suite for parents who need to be close to their children 24 hours a day – and sometimes for months at a time.
But with the decade-old facility showing its age, and with a 91% occupancy rate since it first opened, it was an area that the ARCHIE Foundation wanted to target with its High 10 anniversary appeal.
Starting in just under two weeks, all the donations, support, fundraisers and hard work put in by people and organisations from across the north and north-east of Scotland will come to fruition as the first phase of refitting the parent’s lodgings begins.
Complete with a range of new amenities, including TVs, desks, and child-friendly decorations to comfort worried siblings who need to stay with their parents, the first stage of the refit will even be ready in time for Christmas.
Dave Tipping, director of projects for ARCHIE, said: “We are planning to give the parent’s accommodation a total makeover, but as it is such an important facility, we will do it in stages over the next 18 to 24 months to cause as little disruption as possible.
“When it is finished, through clever use of new furniture in the rooms, we will increase the number of beds to 38 whilst being able to create a new family information centre in one of the existing rooms.
“This will enable the charity to help families in other ways, as well as making it much easier for parents with siblings to be near their child.”
In addition to the overhauled rooms and the new information centre, cash donated to ARCHIE will also go towards renovating the communal cooking and relaxation room.
ARCHIE fundraising director, Cassie Thompson, said: “ARCHIE ambassador Emily Findlay and her family from Orkney raised £10,000, with an additional £1,000 sent from Shetland.
“With such an amazing donation we are going to call the new room the Orkney and Shetland suite and theme it around the islands. It will be both a beautiful and practical space, and very fitting.”