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Archie Foundation needs £100k for outdoor play area

By Val Sweeney


A MAJOR fundraising campaign is under way to create a year-round outdoor play area at Raigmore Hospital.

The new zone will hopefully brighten up hospital stays for young patients and will cost £100,000.

The Archie Foundation (Highland) – which raised £2 million in conjunction with the Inverness Courier to create the new Highland Children’s Unit – is behind the new campaign, called The Fresh Air project.

The aim is to create themed gardens reflecting local landmarks with vibrant colours and fun topiary animals.

Children receiving treatment in the unit, which opened last year, currently have access to an outside play area but the fundraisers want to make it available all year round by installing bright and fun sail-style canopies, which would shelter youngsters from the sun and rain.

There are also plans to create a feature garden, with a 30ft tall topiary Nessie as its centrepiece, at the unit’s entrance.

The launch of the new venture coincides with David Sutherland stepping down after six years as chairman of the Archie Foundation’s Highland appeal and handing over to Mary Nimmo, of Highland solicitors and estate agents Munro & Noble.

He said: "I have hugely enjoyed being part of such a special charity which makes a difference to the lives of countless sick children and their families in the Highlands and Islands."

Ms Nimmo said she was delighted to be getting involved with the charity at an exciting time and acknowledged the people of the Highlands had been "incredibly generous and supportive" in the past.

"I hope the public and local businesses will fully embrace this project, which is the next chapter for the state-of-the-art Highland Children’s Unit," she said.

Dianne Ballantyne, whose daughter Ella-Rose Sinclair (3) spends a lot of time at the unit after being born with her bowel outside her body, said the project would make a big difference to young patients.

"She is always in and out of hospital," said Miss Ballantyne, of Dalneigh.

"Outside play is really good for her."

To dontate contact Laura Mackintosh at the Archie Foundation on 01463 888258 or email laura@archiefoundation.org.uk

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