Wed 9th January 2019 at 12.50 - 14.00

Dawn Anderson explained what CHAS achieves

Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) have long been one of the favourite charities supported by the Rotary Club of St Andrews. At our Wednesday lunch an enthralled audience listened as Dawn Anderson, a truly committed volunteer, described what CHAS can and does do.

The sad reality is, what if your child dies before you?  What if that child needs 24 hour care? Who can you turn to for help and comfort?

Over 15,400 children in Scotland face life limiting conditions. 5,000 are not even five years old.
3 die every week.

At first there was no hospice north of Leeds. A Scottish family who had no choice but to travel to Leeds for hospice care started the movement north of the border. There are now two facilities, Rachel House at Kinross and Robin House at Balloch.  Each venue can accommodate 8 children and their families. The children sleep downstairs with constant nursing care while their parents and sibblings are upstairs getting a good night’s rest. The purpose of a stay is to create happy memories for both child and family. Days are filled with music, fun activities like making cakes and enjoying walks.

Teams of workers also help families in their own home. Often siblings fall behind at school and they can be given help and encouragement with homework. It can be very hard to make friends because having a child with a debilitating condition can be very isolating - there is never time for oneself.

All this provision costs money. CHAS consumes a million pounds every month. Government help currently provides 14% of this total. The rest comes from sustained fundraising. In 2016 Dawn and her husband,Tom, initiated the Butterfly Ball at The Old Course Hotel. Its success was repeated in 2018 at The Fairmont Hotel. Look out for details of the next black-tie event and take a table. At present CHAS can help only 1 in 3 of the thousands of children who would benefit.

Rotarian Ian Hamilton proposed thanks,remarking how easy it was just to say, “Thanks” and how grateful we truly are for the hope and joy CHAS brings to so many families when their need is greatest