What started off as a bit of a dream has come closer to reality this evening.
Almost 5 years ago, Chairman John Bryden decided that the old shed was not safe or of any use at the rear of the house, which is owned by Jan & John Bryden. He felt a family kids day room would be far better suited to the respite care families. Not wishing to use much needed cash, used to care for the kids, they wanted to fund the build themselves.
A conservatory on a south facing wall would be great for the infrequent guests who pay to stay, when no care families are in residence. As these visitors help pay for the overheads such as electric and heating, which does not come from donations.
Jan and John have been converting the shed at their own expense. They have installed essential equipment for families with assisted needs, such as the dipper crane, the stair lift and the bath hoist. These have been paid for by donations.
The able-bodied guests enjoy a visit which in turn pays for more respite care families. To date there have been 38 guests in total over a period of 3 years. Guests have provided donations as well as capital for John & Jan to update their home, for the kids and kids' families. It also allows their home to be used while they are away working during the day.
It has been incredible to see the project reach conclusion. Now instead of the area being taped off from the kids, it will hopefully be ready by end of May. The assisted-needs shower room and floor will be tiled and the wood burner will have its chimney installed to provide warmth. The idea developed arms and legs when researching as many ailments as possible so that no kids would be turned away.
What about kids with UV intolerance, oh eck! Well the build is on the north elevation and so does not overheat. It also now has state of the art glass which prevents UV penetration. It does let those affected kids use the day room without being curtained off from the rest of the world.
We are always making do with craft items made from scrap, so in keeping with Jan and John's Wombling ways, the Kids day room is made from old pallets from Plumb Base, Fort William and stones donated by Transport Scotland. Thanks guys.
It is so close to completion. We are so happy, but not stopping there. We are now in the middle of building a kids reading garden room, so they can read books about the otters the frogs and the wild life. Which they visit during their stay, lady birds to the resident birds. We have 12 nests in the garden this year thanks to our project "Kids Go Wild In The Garden".
The wheel chair bowling lane is complete. We are creating a bowling ball cannon, so kids and adults with no physical ability to throw the bowl can shout instructions to the firing team, higher, lower, lots of fun and including everyone. Tree house for wheel chair users will be built next year.
Thanks to everyone for the support and please don't worry, the cash donated keeps the kids coming. No one is allowed to benefit from the misfortunes of the world's kids who come here except the kids.
Thanks to our B&B guests who are always aware that they may have to cancel at short notice, because of emergency referrals, and for their generosity through donations and manual labour in helping keep the place fixed up.
We have now published our accounts on line with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. We are grateful for the assistance which is vital for us to keep the kids coming. Remember a special mini bus is £800.00 per week, rail card transport fares can be up to £400.00, with food and day trips being up to £500.00. Not bad for a special respite care break, fun packed holiday, which provides such a benefit to distraught kids. How much does it cost you to go on holiday? With the HexHog coming in at £18,000 and the bank balance being able to provide around 11 care break weeks it isn't such a huge sum. Every penny helps.
Right we are now off to get some more of the hydrotherapy spa build done, so the kids can have full use of the new facilities. No donated cash was used for anything with the exception of the special plate system to hold the crane for the hydrotherapy pool which was and is being privately funded.
John C Bryden.