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At the beginning of November supporters of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) raised an incredible £223,677 at the charity’s ninth annual Fawkes-y Ladies Lunch at Prestonfield House Hotel.

This takes the total raised to date at the annual events to £1,022,677!

Singer and long-time CHAS supporter Michelle McManus hosted the event which is apparently now so popular it has a waiting list. Guests enjoyed fizz on arrival, a three-course meal, live music from Michelle herself as well as mass-karaoke band Massaoke and lots of fundraising games.

The live auction, compered by stand-up comedian Bruce Devlin, set the ladies’ pulses racing as they bid for prizes such as a VIP shopping experience with Gucci in London and a dinner party for 10 guests at the InterContinental Edinburgh George Hotel.

Guests of honour and parent speakers Bruce and Nicola Edmond made an emotional speech about their son Jack who was cared for by Rachel House and CHAS at Home. The couple shared how CHAS helped to support their family though the most traumatic time imaginable and thanked the national children’s hospice service for helping make every moment count for Jack’s short life.

Following the speech, Nicola and Bruce made a direct ask to guests to fund a Senior Support Worker at CHAS and raised a staggering £35,000.

Diane Alton, High Profile Events Manager at CHAS, said: “The Fawkes-y Ladies Lunches have become legendary, but this year, we’re blown away by the ladies of Edinburgh and their generosity, as well as our sponsors, Artemis, J B Bennett and Strathberry.

“The £1,022,677 raised over the course of the events nine years equates to 22 full-time nurses for one year at CHAS – which is just incredible. Without out our dedicated supporters, we could not raise the vital funds needed to provide the hospice services that children and families across Scotland rely so heavily on.

“Three children die of a life-shortening condition every week in Scotland, and at present, we’re only reaching one of those families. Our ambition is to reach every single one and offer our services to make sure that no matter how short a family’s time together may be, it is filled with happiness and fun. Events like the Fawkes-y Ladies Lunch are so important in helping us raise funds and awareness of our work.”

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, and via its CHAS at Home service, which supports families in their own homes across the whole of Scotland.

All photos Bill Sinclair

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