Looking ahead to 2017

There’s a definite January feeling at Leuchie - in the best possible sense. As is the tradition, we’re using this first month of the new year as a time to think ahead, plan and look forward to all the great things we’ve got coming up.

With the experience and expertise we’ve built up over the last five years of caring for people with a wide range of health conditions (31 different conditions last year), we’re in the strongest position we’ve ever been in to offer our guests individually-tailored breaks with expert nurse-led care for their specific condition.

On the social side, with the support of an ever-growing group of performers and experts in all kinds of fields, we’re able to offer more choice in the activities guests can get involved with at Leuchie, introducing them to new experiences and helping create happy holiday memories.

Thanks to funding from the Tyne Esk LEADER programme and the Barcaple Foundation, we’ve just appointed our first ever Volunteer Coordinator to support and develop our wonderful volunteer team.

In the spring, we’ll launch an exciting new partnership with Queen Margaret University which will open up all kinds of opportunities for joint-working, new research and student placements.

Our fundraising events programme is set to be bigger and better than ever, including a new format for our Ascot event, our first Midsummer Ball, the return of the Hops in the Garden music festival, and our very own dance competition, Strictly Leuchie!

Externally, the new Carers Bill will come in to force this spring, which should offer new opportunities for carers and people with long term conditions to access the respite breaks they desperately need. At Leuchie, we’re ready to deliver.

So already it’s gearing up to be a great year for Leuchie and I’m looking forward to telling you more about all of these things as 2017 unfolds.

One sad note as we start the year has been the news that Lady Anne-Louise Hamilton-Dalrymple has passed away. Her unfailing support for Leuchie, her kindness, generosity and graciousness endeared her to us all and we’ll miss her greatly.

Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier, 19 January 2017