24 June 2024

Transforming the lives of children by opening up a world of adventures

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We are delighted to have supported the teams at Sunndach and Calareidh to purchase new, specially adapted minibuses to allow young patients with complex medical needs to participate in social activities and excursions.

Teams from NHS Lothian Charity and Sunndach and Calareidh standing beside the new adapted minibuses
Staff and patients at Sunndach welcome the new minibuses

Children, their families and the staff at Sunndach and Calareidh were absolutely delighted when the specially adapted minibuses arrived. The new minibuses open up more opportunities to make memories and improve the quality of life of the children at the two specialist respite and residential care centres. Senior Charge Nurse, Rona Watson, was excited to tell us about how important these new minibuses are for the children they care for:

This is a huge benefit for our service. These new buses will allow the children to enjoy the same activities and experiences as other children, promoting a sense of normalcy and belonging, which is really important for their wellbeing.”

The minibuses will allow children to participate in social activities and outings, reducing isolation, promoting a sense of belonging and enabling them to enjoy activities just like other children their age. Something every child should have the opportunity to do.

The minibuses open up a far wider choice of destinations they can now travel to as daytrips like these can often be difficult for families without specially adapted transport. They are smaller and easier to park in standard car parks, and as they are LEZ compliant, the potential destinations are endless! Knowing that their children will be able to travel comfortably and safely on the minibuses and go on exciting excursions that create lasting memories, brings joy to the families as well.

Dan Watson, a Clinical Support Worker, explains how transformational this is:

The small things add up to a big difference. Now, we can take the children anywhere, from local destinations such as the Five Sisters Zoo to their favourite Blair Drummond Safari Park and exploring the new accessible park at Lochore Meadows.”

The removable seats and adjustable wheelchair fittings mean that the staff can support more children to enjoy daytrips knowing that there is also space for the specialist equipment whilst still being comfortable to travel in. The tinted glass windows also offer privacy in the event that staff need to give support to a child, as well as providing shade from the sun. The reduced noise, improved lighting and less movement helps to limit sensory overload and creates a more calming and comfortable experience.

Sunndach and Calareidh provide respite and residential care for young patients with complex medical needs or disabilities. These homes offer a comfortable, supportive, and homely environment, allowing children to receive 24-hour care by specialist nurses while feeling less like they’re in a hospital setting. “Sunndach” itself translates to “joy, happy, or bright” in Gaelic, reflecting the positive atmosphere they strive to create.
Staff and patients laughing outside

Your donation to NHS Lothian Charity can help transform the lives of patients across NHS Lothian. Together, we can make a difference.