Princess Royal visits Leuchie House

HRH The Princess Royal presented a ‘group MBE’ to volunteers at national respite centre Leuchie House during a visit on 25 October.

Her Royal Highness presented the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to Leuchie’s volunteer team. The Award recognises Leuchie volunteers’ ‘outstanding work in the community’, supporting the centre to provide short respite breaks to people living with long term health conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

Over the past five years, the team, known as Friends of Leuchie, has provided invaluable support across all areas of the North Berwick centre’s operation. It is estimated that the day-to-day work the volunteers do equates to around 250 hours each month.

Mairi O’Keefe, Leuchie’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Quite simply, Leuchie House couldn’t survive without the support of our team of volunteers. The service we provide is by its nature resource-intensive and budgets are severely limited. Thanks to the work our volunteers do, not only has Leuchie survived against the odds, we’ve been able to develop into a national centre of excellence in respite care. For them to receive this award and to have it presented by HRH The Princess Royal is a real honour and a fitting tribute to all their hard work and commitment over the years.”

Liz Westcott who has worked as a volunteer at Leuchie for the past five years accepted the award from the Princess: “I was delighted to receive the award on behalf of Leuchie volunteers past and present who have played a role in making Leuchie House the special place it is today. As well as honouring the efforts of the Leuchie team, the award also recognises the important role that volunteers play generally, wherever they are in the community.”

During her visit, Her Royal Highness also launched The Leuchie Forever Fund, a new fundraising initiative of which she is Royal Patron. Having been set up only five years ago, Leuchie has not yet built up substantial financial reserves so The Leuchie Forever Fund aims to provide a stable, long term funding base for the charity.




Photos: Emma Martin