Campaign will see Inverness sick kids play outdoors all year
The ARCHIE Foundation spearheaded the project which raised £2 million to build the Highland Children’s Unit at Raigmore Hospital in 2016.
The state-of-the-art unit has made the difference for thousands of children all over the Highlands and Islands.
The new appeal will see a huge improvement in the garden space at the children’s unit with the Highland Fresh Air project. This is the next stage in the partnership between the ARCHIE Foundation and NHS Highland.
It also coincides with charity chairman David Sutherland stepping down after six years. Mary Nimmo, of Highland solicitors and estate agents Munro & Noble, will now take over.
Since completing the unit, there have been major building works to the adjacent theatre blocks – and even though this has provided children at the unit with lots of exciting construction work and diggers to look out over, the charity would like to make the outdoor space even more exciting when the builders leave by creating beautiful themed gardens reflecting local landmarks, with vibrant colours and some fun topiary animals.
When the unit was created, ARCHIE provided a play area accessible from the playroom within the ward. But it wants to make sure children receiving treatment in the unit can play in the space all year round by providing bright and fun sail-style canopies, offering shelter from both the sun – and the rain.
ARCHIE wants the entrance to the children’s unit to be even more vibrant and welcoming for children and their families with a feature garden space. The centerpiece of which will be a 30-foot tall topiary Nessie – a Highland icon fitting for our iconic unit.
Mary Nimmo said: “The ARCHIE Foundation is such an important charity doing incredible work for sick children right across the Highlands and Islands.
“It is an exciting time as we now move forward with the ambitious Fresh Air project which will allow youngsters in the children’s unit to be able to enjoy an inviting and exciting outside space during all weathers.
“The people of the Highlands have been incredibly generous and supportive to the charity in the past, which resulted in the establishment of a dedicated children’s unit at Raigmore Hospital, which now makes a huge difference to sick children in the area and their families.
“I hope once again the public and local businesses will fully embrace this project which is the next chapter for the state-of-the-art Highland children’s unit.”
Inverness businessman, David Sutherland, who has been chairman of the ARCHIE Foundation since 2011, said: “I have hugely enjoyed being part of such a special charity which makes a difference to the lives of countless sick children and their families in the Highlands and Islands”.
Katherine Sutton, deputy director of operations for Raigmore Hospital, said: “I am delighted to be working with the ARCHIE Foundation on this exciting new project.
“The children’s unit is a fantastic facility and plans to further enhance the experience for our young patients with the launch of the Fresh Air project is something which I fully support and welcome.
“The support for the ARCHIE Foundation from people across the Highland and further afield has been truly humbling and I would like to thank everyone for that support and am sure that support will continue as we look to further improve our young patients’ experience while they are in hospital.”