Local charity thanks the north-east for the gift of time
Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity. Unable to hold a big event to mark the occasion, the charity prepared and sent personalised thank you certificates and words of thanks from the entire team. Local children’s charity Charlie House today (Monday 1st June) joined charities across the UK by participating in Volunteers’ Week to thank its volunteers for giving the gift of time. Joan Cowie, Volunteer and information co-ordinator says ”In the last year, we have been so grateful for every minute our fabulous volunteers have given to Charlie House. Due to the current restrictions we have been unable to hold a big event to thank everyone who has helped us over the last year but we couldn’t let the occasion pass without thanking everyone for their incredible contribution.”
”Over the last year volunteers have got involved in so many ways – at our children and family activities, at our fundraising events, in our ReCHarge cafe in Bon Accord, in our office, wrapping prizes and gifts, and, of course, stepping into our mascot, Charlie Dog, paws! Our corporate supporters have given their time too – helping us to raise vital funds and awareness.”
Joan continues, “During lockdown, although our face to face activities have stopped our volunteers have been busy fundraising and offering quiet support with essential projects to allow us to continue operating. Fundraising has been incredibly challenging over the last few months and we have been blown away by the ingenuity and generosity of our supporters from individuals walking backwards to businesses who have donated a percentage of profits from online events to us. The current situation has forced us review how we best use our volunteers’ skills and experience – there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved and support us, we just need to be more creative and are always open to any ideas from our volunteers.”
Mascot Charlie Dog shows his thanks to Charlie House volunteers on the first day of Volunteers’ Week 2020.
Local volunteer Lynne Reid, of Newtonhill, says “It means a lot to me to be a small part of this network and to be doing something meaningful for so many people. I usually volunteer at ReCHarge Café one day per week, which I am missing due to the current temporary closure, and I also do other things for Charlie House on occasion. I enjoy chatting to new customers and telling them what their money will go towards and support and I also enjoy welcoming a Charlie House family into the café from time to time. It’s lovely when someone comes in and says they know of someone who is supported by Charlie House and they have come in specifically to support the café.
“I love wearing my volunteering hat for Charlie House and have been involved with Charlie House for a number of years. I have heard a number of Charlie House parents speak about how their lives have changed when their children have been born with varying degrees of additional support needs and also how their lives have changed again when they have found the support network in Charlie House.”
Lynne Reid – Local volunteer
When I am in the Charlie House office, I am always amazed by the hard work and dedication of the team. They are always rushing off to speak to an organisation or a school or arrange some activity and support some families. Volunteers can help in so many ways at Charlie House and there is something for everyone to get involved with. Whether you can manage term-time, weekends or evenings you are made to feel valued. I’m proud to be a part of the Charlie House team.”
In the North-east of Scotland alone there are more than 1,600 babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions. Alongside running ongoing activities and services, Charlie House is undertaking an £8million appeal for a specialist support centre to be built on the grounds of Woodend Hospital offering families dedicated support and local respite facilities.
’Our dream is to have a purpose-built support centre right here in Aberdeen’
Charlie House is a local children’s charity which supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions in the North-east of Scotland, and their families. Established in 2011, our current services include activity clubs, sibling’s clubs, support from our very own Charlie House Community Nurse, one-to-one emotional and practical support from our Children & Family Support Manager and our annual adventure trip to Kielder Forest Park, run by Calvert Trust.
Find out how you can get involved and for further information contact Charlie House using the button below.