After months of raising funds – including a mountain of cash from generous Sunday Post readers – work has begun on the extension and refurbishment of Robin House.
The excitement in the air is tangible as workers prepare the ground for the new Garden Room.
It might be hard to envisage now, but this scruffy patch will soon be a place of peace and comfort for parents going through hard times.
Those working on the project and the staff at Robin House are delighted construction has started.
Capital Projects Manager, Alison Allan, said: “It’s taken a lot of preparation and now the building work is underway we’re starting to see it take shape which is really exciting!
“It’s a significant refurbishment. The additional space will allow young people to enjoy greater independence and a wider range of outdoor activities.“
“The end result will enhance the existing space, giving us more flexibility and enabling us to provide a better service all round. The
needs of our families are constantly evolving and this upgrade will allow us to grow with them.
“We’ve taken every effort to include families, staff and volunteers in all aspects of the consultation process to ensure our refurbishment meets their needs and expectations.”
She added: “All is going to plan so far and we expect the building work to be complete in September. We’re really looking forward to introducing families, staff and volunteers to the new areas when they are ready.”
The work is ambitious in its scope, with two extensions and three main elements planned to improve the space.
The first involves the reception area, transforming it into a welcoming, bright and open space with a wider foyer and a small meeting area to provide a private and easily accessible space.
An extended teenage den with access to an outdoor space will be created to replace the current limited facility.
Finally, the new Garden Room will be used by the family support team to provide care and support in a calm environment.
Staff are looking forward to being able to provide and even better service to families than the amazing one they already offer.
Clinical Nurse Manager, Yvonne Caie, said: “I’ve been working at Robin House since the doors opened more than 10 years ago.
“The facilities we have are fantastic, but they now need updated to be able to continue to provide the right environment for the children and families that will use our services in the future.
“Families are at the heart of everything we do at CHAS and therefore having the flexibility to adapt and cater to a growing number of children with complex conditions is a priority.
“It’s really overwhelming that this work has been made possible once again by the generosity of the Scottish public. The upgrade will allow us to continue to offer the level of care and support we pride ourselves on for the next 10 years”.
CHAS Chief Executive, Maria McGill, agrees that generosity is at the heart of the new phase of Robin House’s life.
She said: “CHAS is in the unique position of being the only children’s hospice provider in Scotland and our priority has always been to provide love, care and support to families facing the reality that their child’s life will be short.
“We help more than 380 families across Scotland, giving them somewhere to turn for much needed care, support and respite.
“The Oor Hoose Campaign has not only raised invaluable funds to make necessary upgrades to Robin House but also awareness of the vital services we provide to families in our wonderful hospices. We still have some way to go before the project is complete but it will all be worth it.
“A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the refurbishment so far. We are very grateful for the ongoing support.”