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Race on to raise £85k in a year for hospital garden

By Andrew Dixon


A NEW fundraising board of business leaders has been formed to support a charity’s bid to raise £100,000.

So far more than £15,000 has been collected towards the cost of a year-round outdoor play area at Raigmore Hospital.

The Archie Foundation (Highland) – which raised £2 million to create the hospital’s Highland Children’s Unit – is behind the latest campaign, called The Fresh Air project.

The new zone will hopefully brighten up hospital stays for young patients.

Archie Highland chairwoman Mary Nimmo has built a team to support her vision to raise the six-figure sum within a year.

Joining Mrs Nimmo on the board is Brian Munro (managing director of Pat Munro), Stuart Winterburn (managing director of Dynamic Edge), Mike Rae (managing director of Highland Copiers), Laura Mackintosh (group operations manager of Royal Golf Hotel) and Pauline Fraser (managing director of Frasermedia).

The fundraising board is focusing on organising more events throughout the year but it is hoped that people across the Highlands will once again come forward to support the appeal and help to reach the target so work can begin on the gardens at the unit in 2019.

Mrs Nimmo, partner at Munro & Noble Solicitors and Estate Agents, said: "The people of the Highlands have always been an amazing support to the Archie Foundation and were very much part of the success of creating the state-of-the-art children’s unit in Inverness which now delivers a much-needed support service for sick children across the whole of the Highlands and Islands.

"We now want to further improve on the facilities by creating an accessible outdoor space so children and their families using the unit can enjoy fresh air in a safe and enjoyable environment.

"I believe that we have pulled together a strong fundraising board of driven business people who share the same passion as the local community to make any child’s stay away from home as comfortable as possible.

"We have a dream and a vision to raise £100,000 this year and with the board and, the support of businesses and the people across the Highlands, we can make this vision a reality."

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 in 2016, 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.

Donations from the public also help Archie provide emergency grants for parents to help with accommodation and travel costs, fund additional staff training and supply toys and books for children receiving treatment at the unit.

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 Mrs Nimmo.

"I sincerely hope our new board can build upon and match the efforts, time, energy and commitment which Mr Sutherland has invested in the Archie Foundation," she added.

"We are extremely grateful for his continued support."

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