Stornoway charity launches new service for CF youngsters

A STORNOWAY charity has launched a new project aimed at helping young people with Cystic Fibrosis moving to university or college.

Simon Wetherell, Co-op Director of Facilities Management; Divisional Managing Director John McNeill; Chrisetta Mitchell, The Leanne Fund; Macaulay Road Store Manager, Steven Cooper and Cromwell Street Store Manager Steven Macphail. Picture: Contributed

The Leanne Fund has launched ‘On the Move’, a programme to support young people with CF who are moving away to further education or setting up home independently for the first time.

They have thanked Co-op customers in Stornoway who have helped raise more than £12,000 for the charity, which will be used towards the project.

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The Leanne Fund works with individuals affected by CF and their families across the Highlands, Islands and Grampian to provide vital social, practical, emotional and financial assistance.

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The Co-op’s Local Community Fund has allowed Co-op members to support the charity while doing the weekly shop with 1% of spend on Co-op branded products going to the charity along with money raised from carrier bag sales.

The Leanne Fund is delighted to receive this cash which will fund ‘On the Move’.

Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager for The Leanne Fund said: “We are so grateful to the Co-op and its Members who have raised such a phenomenal amount of money which will make such a difference to the lives of young people with CF.

“’On the Move’ is a new service which has been created in response to demand from those we work with. For a young person with CF, moving out of home can be a very daunting prospect and presents many practical challenges.

“Through this programme we hope to be able to assist with providing essential items such as a fridge for storing medicine, help with heating costs, and a mentor/befriending service.

“Moving away to College or University or setting up home for the first time can be really exciting but it can also be extremely stressful and worrying as new social relationships have to be built up. 

“These are inevitably constrained by the nature of the illness and the need to protect against infection.

“At The Leanne Fund we recognise that these may be additional worries for young people with Cystic Fibrosis moving out of home and we want to do all that we can to help.”

She added: “We want to keep everyone informed about the work of The Leanne Fund and would encourage members to log on to our website to see more about the work we do and we will provide regular updates on this specific programme which is only able to move forward because of funding from the Co-op and its customers.”

The Co-op Community Fund also helped other local charities, the Western Isles Association for Mental Health and the Bridge Community Centre and together with The Leanne Fund, they shared a total of more than £38,000.

Steven Cooper, store manager of Co-op’s Macaulay Road store, said: “We’re a close knit community and our customers and members have relished the opportunity to support such a wide range of local causes whilst doing their everyday shopping.

“It’s a great feeling to know that the groups and charities have had a funding boost from Co-op and can start to put the money to good use.”

The Leanne Fund was set up in 2009 in memory of Leanne Mitchell from the Isle of Lewis.

The charity funds special treats and a range of support services for young people affected by Cystic Fibrosis and their families across the region.

Since The Leanne Fund was founded it has continued to expand and develop the range of services and experiences offered in response to the needs of Cystic Fibrosis patients and their families.

The Leanne Fund relies entirely on fundraising, sponsors and charitable donations to fund their valuable work.