Ayrshire charity to extend its services thanks to support from UKSE.
An Ayrshire charity dedicated to providing support to children and young people with cancer and other life-altering conditions is extending its services with a new programme, thanks to funding from UKSE.
Whiteleys Retreat in Ayr work with over 150 critically ill children in and around the local area, offering a place of respite for both themselves and their families at a vulnerable time.
Created with The Gifted Kind, an Ayrshire-based social enterprise that creates learning opportunities for young people in Scotland, the new programme provides a series of activities including online videos, activity cards and booklets, aimed at providing families with the same sense of respite and relaxation they would normally get at Whiteleys, but at home.
UKSE provided the charity with £2,500, which went towards the creation of online content and activity cards and booklets Family Wellbeing activity cards, which are incorporated within the programme.
It is hoped that the addition of the new programme will help to reinforce the feelings of wellbeing and positivity formed during their time of respite at the retreat, which is a world away from the often highly structured care routines, hospital visits and treatments that are the norm for the families.
Whiteleys, which has been running for the last three years by dedicated staff and volunteers, will include methods of relaxation, mindfulness, reflection and recreation within the new programme, tailored to those who have to deal with chemotherapy, long hospital stays, invasive procedures and much more on a regular basis.
Susan Webb, development and charity manager at Whiteleys Retreat, said: “The last year and a half has been very difficult, but particularly for children who have cancer or a life-altering illness and have had to shield since the very first lockdown. Whiteleys provides a place where families can go to spend some time together, without all the normal structure and routine of their every-day lives.
“Due to the pandemic, we’ve not been able to have the same number of visits from families as we normally would, and we wanted to be able to replicate some of what Whiteleys can provide, at home. This new programme allows us to do just that, complete with some helpful tools including videos, which aim to help young people and their families manage their illnesses, reinforce feelings of wellbeing and also have fun at the same time. and remind them of our lovely retreat.
“Without the support that UKSE has provided, we wouldn’t have been able to create our new programme and continue to help children, young people and their families through such difficult times.”
Terry Quinn, regional executive at UKSE said: “The support that Whiteleys Retreat provide to families is truly inspirational. It is devastating that so many families have to deal with such awful circumstances, but charities like Whiteleys go a long way in providing advice and support to families across Ayrshire.
“We are proud to support such an incredible cause and would like to wish everyone at Whiteleys Retreat the very best as they embark on the new programme.”