Children at Balloch hospice Robin House are being taken on a trip of a lifetime thanks to almost 2500 postcards sent from people on their summer holidays.
The Lennox Herald reported last month how the Children’s Hospices Across Scotland facility was appealing for the mementos to be sent so the kids could create their own memories through other people’s experiences.
And, since our article, they have been overwhelmed with the response, receiving hundreds of cards every day.
The children embarked on a cruise on their Jolly Robin pirate ship and have been dropping its anchor in a variety of locations, thanks to the kind-hearted messages.
So far 2455 touching messages of support have come from places as far afield as Australia and the Arctic – and almost everywhere in-between.
The charity is asking people to keep sending words of encouragement from holiday destinations – and every postcard received will be put on display at Robin House.
CHAS activities co-ordinator Eilidh Grant said: “We are overwhelmed and are hoping more people will get behind us. We’ve had an incredible response and the kids love to read all the messages. They really help to brighten their day.
“It’s lovely for the kids and their families to know that so many people across the globe are supporting them.
“Some of the children we care for will never get the chance to travel and this is our way of bringing a little piece of the world here to them.”
Activities facilitator Alison Ringrose added: “We are committed to making sure that, no matter how short families’ time together may be, it is a time filled with happiness and fun.
“Readers can keep the joy alive and make it the best world cruise ever by sending us a postcard from their holidays or even a day trip somewhere.
“Together let’s see how far the Jolly Robin can travel and how many destinations she can sail to before she docks back at Robin House on September 3.
“For those who don’t have much time to spare but would like to support CHAS, sending us a wee postcard is also a great way to micro-volunteer.”
Ainsley Rogers, 23, and her sister Abby, 13, sent a postcard while visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Ainsley, from Glasgow, said: “It’s nice to know something that only takes a couple of minutes to write on holiday helps to put a smile on a child’s face.” Evie Heenan, seven, is a regular visitor to Robin House and said: “I think everyone who sends the postcards is kind. I like them because of all the pictures. My favourite one has a picture of a donkey on it and it makes me feel happy.
“This year my brother Fergus is going to stay at Robin House and get looked after by the nurses so we can go on holiday to Tenerife. When we get there, we’re going to send a postcard.”
Each week, three youngsters across Scotland die from life-shortening conditions and, for 25 years, CHAS have been supporting families facing their toughest time.
Earlier this year, CHAS launched a new fundraising campaign – Keep the Joy Alive.
For more go to www.chas.co.uk and www.keepthejoyalive.org.uk
For more local news, click here.