Today marks one year since Charlie House launched its Big Build Appeal.
Last November the Aberdeen-based charity announced its campaign to raise £8 million to build and maintain a specialist support centre set in four acres of ground at Woodend Hospital.
Comprising eight bedrooms, it is planned to have a range of different facilities, including a spa pool, teen den, craft room, soft play area, therapy room, Star room for end-of-life care, outdoor play area, sensory garden and more.
NHS Grampian has also thrown its support behind the initiative and generous fundraisers across the north-east have helped the charity raise a whopping £2.4 million for the cause.
Tracy Johnstone, founder and chairwoman, set up Charlie House after the birth of her son Louis, as she felt there was a lack of support services and no one place where families could get all the help they needed once they left hospital.
Since then, setting up a specialist support centre has been a dream of the charity’s.
Tracy said: “Since our appeal launch in November 2018, the people of the north-east have been so supportive and involved.
“We asked them to ‘dig deep north-east’ and they absolutely have.
“To have reached the £2.4m mark is testament to not only the generosity of the north-east but also to the Charlie House team who have worked extremely hard over the past 12 months to drive the appeal.
“We all remain passionate and committed about bringing this centre to the city and are continuing to forge ahead with many more fantastic fundraising events confirmed for 2020 and 2021.”
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The £2.4m raised includes eight parts of the building.
Charlie House will provide a lifeline to families who currently have to travel more than 100 miles to the nearest facility in Kinross to access similar facilities.
In the past year, huge amounts of support has been given to the charity, with people across the region holding events, fundraising and getting involved with Charlie House, as well as companies and organisations helping to boost funds by backing it.
This year has also brought the opening of its ReCHarge Cafe in the Bon Accord Centre, the proceeds of which also go towards the appeal.
Susan Crighton, director of fundraising for Charlie House, said: “This year saw our biggest individual donation in April from the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, via its Trades Widows’ Fund Charity.
“The generous £400,000 will fund the spa pool area within the centre.
“The top fundraising group of 2019 to date are our phenomenal CHAMP team of adventurers who trekked to Machu Picchu and raised a staggering £200,000.
“We are thrilled to have had a total of eight parts in the building funded/pledged to date, but there are still opportunities for further rooms to be funded and for fundraisers to continue to support the appeal so please get in touch.”
Anyone who would like to help with the appeal can donate at bit.ly/2ROBktF or by calling 01224 313333.
People will also have the chance to put cash towards the Big Build Appeal by buying gifts from Charlie House’s Christmas collection.
The Making Christmas Memories campaign will further support the initiative with all online donations and festive merchandise purchases until December 31 going towards the Big Build fund.
Susan added: “Every single penny counts, so whether you buy our Christmas card packs, fantastic Cocoa Ooze chocolate stocking fillers or make a donation in memory of a loved one, this will go towards our remaining Big Build Appeal total.”
Charlie House is hoping to raise £8 million for its Big Build Appeal to construct and maintain a specialist support centre.
£2m of the funds has already been secured. Visit bit.ly/2ROBktF or call 01224 313333.