Charlie House appoints new director of fundraising 

Emma Leiper Finlayson (Charlie House)

CHARLIE House has appointed Emma Leiper Finlayson as director of fundraising to drive essential income for the charity, ensuring it continues its mission to provide accessible, vital services to North-east families with children facing complex health conditions.

Managing the fundraising and marketing teams, Emma’s primary focus will be to lead the successful delivery of the Big Build Appeal, a dedicated initiative focused on creating a support and respite centre so that families don’t need to travel more than 100 miles for specialist care. 

Emma joins Charlie House with more than 12 years of experience working at a senior level in local and national charitable organisations. With an extensive background in leading large teams, she notably led the national community team of 40 at Sue Ryder to raise £6.5m for essential end-of-life care services and bereavement support.

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Specialising in driving transformational change, Emma was also the strategic lead for UK-wide campaigns and development programmes at Sue Ryder. This included managing its £3.9m capital appeal to expand neurological care facilities in Aberdeen, and the emergency ‘Cost of Dying’ campaign to raise £160,000 for underfunded services.

She said: “It’s a privilege to have joined the Charlie House team and be part of an incredible organisation delivering real change and support for local children and their families. What particularly resonates with me about Charlie House is its ethos and values – helping children with life-limiting conditions to live as full lives as possible, to not be defined by their condition, and instead focus on what they can do, rather than what they can’t.

“My first priority in the role is to meet and thank the donors and supporters who have contributed to the Big Build Appeal.  The next step will be to raise awareness of the ongoing need and to engage the spirit of the community to help take the appeal over the line. Charlie House is 100% reliant on donations from the community and we truly can’t do this without the public’s support.

“I look forward to catching up with both new and existing connections to explain more about Charlie House, and show how supporting the charity will play such an important role for so many families in the area.” 

CEO of Charlie House, John Brebner said: “We are thrilled to welcome Emma to the team!  Her experience in delivering full third sector campaigns from beginning to end, while keeping committed supporters along for the journey is incredibly valuable, and we’ve already witnessed her impressive skill set. 

“With 2024 just around the corner, Emma will play a major part in helping us reach our key milestones for the year.” 

Charlie House delivers practical and emotional support services as well as inclusive and accessible activities for parents, siblings and the whole family that enables them to gain confidence, engage socially, make memories together and meet others in similar situations and share information.

With the aim of building a physical Charlie House to prevent families from travelling more than 100 miles for specialist care, the charity launched its Big Build Appeal in 2018 with a goal of raising £8million. The current fundraising efforts total over £5.1m and the charity recently launched the Buy a Brick campaign to help raise further funds for the appeal. 

To find out more about the Big Build Appeal campaign and how you can help Charlie House build a dedicated support centre, visit 

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