Opening up new opportunities

Last Tuesday we were finally able to reveal a secret we’ve had to keep under wraps since April.

The fantastic news we’d been desperate to share was that Leuchie House had been chosen, alongside the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, as one of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open official charity partners 2018.

Both of our charities are all about helping people with neurological conditions to have fulfilling lives so it’s a great fit to link us together.

The partnership means that we’ll be able to have an on-site presence throughout the Scottish Open when it comes to Gullane in July, the chance to fundraise, and an amazing platform from which we can spread the word far and wide about how Leuchie can help people.

To announce the news, we held a press conference and were thrilled to see journalists there from both national and local media, including, of course, our very own East Lothian Courier.

Leuchie’s Patron Gavin Hastings, Doddie Weir, and professional golfer Stephen Gallacher all spoke about how important the partnership was and what it would achieve. I’m sure they won’t mind me saying, however, that it was Leuchie guest, Jim, who stole the show.

He had specially programmed the text-to-speech electronic device he uses to communicate to be able to tell everyone how important Leuchie had become in his life since being diagnosed with MND 18 years ago.  You can imagine how moved I felt when he described Leuchie as being ‘next to heaven’ for him.

Equally moving for me, was the impact of the event on our guests around the house, as they got the chance to hold the Calcutta Cup and the European Tour Trophy, and to pose for photos with our celebrity visitors. It was a very special day for many of them and a memory they’ll cherish.

If you’re planning to be at the Scottish Open from 11-19 July, do drop in to the Leuchie tent. Yet another lovely side of all this would be to get the chance to meet and chat with those of you who I can usually only talk to through this fortnightly column!

Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier, 21 June 2018.