Local charity’s fundraising tops £1.6 million in 2023

Paula Cormack (Chief Executive of The Archie Foundation)

LOCAL charity The Archie Foundation raised more than £1.6million in 2023 to support babies, children and families, an increase of 12% on the previous year.

More than 50,000 children and young people visited one of the three hospitals supported by The Archie Foundation last year – Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Tayside Children’s Hospital in Dundee and the Highland Children’s Unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.  

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The Archie Foundation has today released its impact figures for 2023, with a total of £1,667,241 raised through fundraising events, donations and grants between 1 January 2023 until 31 December.

In addition, the charity’s services directly helped babies, children and families across North Scotland.

Paula Cormack, chief executive of The Archie Foundation, said: “At a time when many of us have been heavily impacted by the cost-of-living crisis it is heart-warming that people are continuing to support The Archie Foundation.

“We never fail to be amazed by the generosity of our supporters. It is incredible that our fundraising total has increased so significantly. The money will allow us to continue to support young patients and their families in North Scotland.”

During 2023 the charity awarded more than 300 grants totalling almost £550,000, ranging from support for individual families to funding specialist neonatal equipment (£98,307).

The majority of requests for financial aid were from Grampian, with 79% of applications coming from the region. The remaining requests were split between Tayside (12%), Highlands (7%) and the Northern Isles (2%).

Paula said: “Our financial support is available throughout North Scotland. We know that unexpected or urgent hospital admissions can put additional strain on family finances. We want families to know that our support is available to them, whether they are looking for help to buy essential items or to cover travel expenses.

“Our grants are wide ranging, and our aim is that every one of them, irrespective of amount, makes a difference to the recipient. Some of the requests we receive are for things that many of us would take for granted, such as the family that received £10 to enable them to book a taxi to take their child to a hospital appointment.”

Paula added: “Our supporters also selflessly donate their time and energy, whether to make a difference in one of our many volunteer roles or to take on a challenge and raise funds and awareness.

“We never fail to be amazed by the lengths our supporters will go to. In the last 12 months we have had people scaling mountains at home and abroad as well as adults and children taking part in the Battle of the Badges tournaments with the emergency services. This fun event will return to Grampian later this year and will also be hosted in the Highlands and Tayside for the first time.”

The Archie Foundation’s support includes the vital Archie Child Bereavement Service (ACBS), which extended into Tayside, the Highlands, and Orkney in 2022. The service recorded record referrals in all three regions in 2023 with almost 500 children referred to ACBS last year for free of charge professional support.

Recognising that every child is different, and that their experience of grief will be similarly individual, ACBS supports children who have experienced bereavement and provides them with appropriate support and guidance to help them to manage their grief.

The Archie Foundation also provides family accommodation at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. In 2023 more than 1,000 parents benefitted from this provision. The charity provided 3,603 bed nights to the families of babies and children who were being looked after at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

The beneficiaries were drawn from across the North of Scotland, with more than half of the recipients coming from the Highlands, Tayside, Orkney and Shetland.

Paula added: “It’s important that we can offer accommodation to families whose children are being cared for in hospital. Having access to a home away from home can make all the difference during what can be an extremely stressful time. It’s also another way The Archie Foundation can help to ease financial pressures families may face.”

The charity’s fundraising campaign to ‘deliver the difference’ at the new Baird Family Hospital, which is under construction on the Foresterhill site, also continued. The Archie Foundation has now raised £1,130,143 towards funding the vital finishing touches and additional specialist equipment which will make a world of difference and will transform the clinically state of the art hospital into a world-class facility.

Visit www.archie.org/getsupport/ for more information about the practical, financial and emotional support available from The Archie Foundation.   

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