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Baby loss story inspires Cartmore boss to donate
The tragic loss of Kirkcaldy couple Gemma Munro and Andrew Couper’s baby daughter Georgia had a profound effect on Cartmore Building Supplies boss John Fairley. Georgia’s grandfather, Kenny Couper, is a long-term employee of the building supply company and the family’s loss was felt throughout the entire company.
Moved by the family’s story, screened recently on STV News, John opted to donate £1,000 towards the Christmas fundraiser for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), whose Rachel House hospice cared for Georgia for the short time she had left after being discharged from hospital.
John Fairley, Director at Cartmore said: “I have worked with Kenny – Georgia’s grandad – for a number of years and Cartmore has donated to CHAS on occasions before. However, nothing could prepare me for how moved I was by Georgia’s story. The support the family has had from Rachel House and CHAS was recently shown on TV and motivated us to make a donation. We know how much the support from CHAS meant to Gemma and Andrew and have been inspired by their courage in supporting this fundraiser at such a difficult time in their own lives.”
Alison Rennie, Community Fundraiser at CHAS said: “We are so grateful to John and Cartmore for this generous donation. CHAS is determined to reach every single child who needs their help and our Christmas appeal has been as much about raising awareness of our services as it has been to raise much-needed funds. Anyone seeking to find our more or donate can visit CHAS.org.uk.”
CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. The national charity offers palliative care and respite for the whole family via its two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch. The CHAS at Home service supports families in their own homes across the whole of Scotland and has teams working in communities and hospitals across the country.
Like many other charities left reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, CHAS has had to dramatically transform the way in which it provides its increasingly important services. They have set up Scotland’s first ever virtual hospice to support children and families who are having to completely self-isolate.
The virtual hospice has now been operational for 18 months, offering families extensive assistance, whether it relates to clinical guidance, financial advice or bereavement support, by video and phone. CHAS family support teams are also offering an expanding range of interactive activities, art clubs, storytelling and conference calls to children and parents, with more in the pipeline.
Although safeguarding is very much in place as lockdown measures continue to ease, children needing urgent physical and end of life care are welcomed at both Rachel and Robin House, where staff continue to work tirelessly to provide palliative assistance to them and their families in a comfortable environment.
Pictured above L-R is Kenny Couper, Andrew Couper, Gemma Munro, Alison Rennie and John Fairley.