Relaunching Leuchie’s guest engagement programme

A stroll along North Berwick High Street, going for a pub lunch, listening to live music and sampling local real ales are all on the programme for our guests during the current break at Leuchie House.

All simple pleasures and things that most of us take for granted. Yet, if you’re confined to a wheelchair, don’t have access to adapted transport or see no one but care workers during an average day, being able to take part in these simple activities can make a huge difference to your quality of life.

Thanks to a two year grant from the R S MacDonald Charitable Trust, this month we have been able to relaunch Leuchie’s guest engagement programme and appoint a new guest engagement manager. At Leuchie this includes in-house activities – everything from arts and crafts to wildlife walks to exercise classes – outings and evening entertainment. It’s one of the areas that makes Leuchie House unique. 

Now that our service has expanded to include people with a much wider range of neurological conditions, the new grant gives us the chance to offer even more choice and to cater for all interests and abilities.

For our guests this aspect of their stay at Leuchie means a chance to try new things, to rediscover things they used to do, to get out and about, and to just chat and share experiences with other people.

In recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege of accompanying a group of Leuchie ladies to The Balmoral for afternoon tea, seen guests moved to tears at the sheer joy of experiencing live music again, and watched David and Hilda take to the skies on microlight flights.

It’s not just about the big experiences though. The social side is of enormous importance too. Staying with us at Leuchie at the moment are Ricky and Eric. They first met here 18 years ago and became firm friends after Ricky taught Eric how to play Scrabble. They now co-ordinate the timing of their breaks to be able to come to Leuchie at the same time twice a year and are still playing Scrabble every chance they can get!

Another good reminder that often it really is the simplest of things that bring the greatest pleasure to our lives.

(Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in the East Lothian Courier, 12 May 2016)