North-east tot’s Grandad to drive 500 miles to raise funds for local charity

Rosie and Shelly with Charly

IN a heartwarming display of love and dedication, a devoted grandfather is revving up for a noble cause. Charley Lockhart, a resident of Grange, near Keith, is set to embark on a remarkable journey along the iconic North Coast 500 route, covering over 500 miles in a classic Scania 143 truck. But this isn’t just any road trip – Charley’s mission is to raise funds for The Archie Foundation’s Baird Family Hospital Appeal, a cause close to his heart.

Charley’s motivation stems from a deeply personal experience. His granddaughter, Rosie, was born prematurely, entering the world at just 29 weeks and weighing a little over one kilogram. Rosie faced a challenging start, spending the initial 46 nights of her life in the neonatal unit at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. The emotional and logistical strain this placed on Charley’s family was immeasurable.

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Rose in the truck

However, during this difficult period, The Archie Foundation provided invaluable support. Rosie’s parents, Shelly and Craig, were able to stay close to their precious daughter, thanks to the foundation’s assistance. The foundation not only facilitated their stay at hospital accommodation but also provided essential items like books for Rosie and funding for vital equipment, including an incubator.

As Rosie approaches her second birthday on November 6, Charley is taking on the North Coast 500 challenge alongside his good friend Colin Roger. Their goal is not only to raise funds for the Baird Family Hospital Appeal but also to raise awareness about the incredible work done by The Archie Foundation.

Reflecting on his family’s experience, Charley emphasised, “When Rosie was born and needed to stay in the hospital, it was an extremely challenging time. The family is from Keith, so there were logistical problems straight away. Fortunately, thanks to The Archie Foundation, her mum and dad were able to stay in hospital accommodation. This meant they were never too far away from their precious little girl, and being able to stay on-site was a massive positive for them.”

Charley and Colin are driving more than 500 miles, symbolising resilience, determination, and love. Their efforts are part of Team Rosie, a collective endeavour that has already raised over £16,500 for The Archie Foundation. With this latest fundraiser, they aim to surpass the £20,000 mark.

Paula Cormack, Chief Executive of The Archie Foundation, commended the dedication of Team Rosie. She expressed her gratitude, stating, “Charley and Colin’s North Coast 500 challenge is yet another example of the amazing people who support The Archie Foundation. Their fundraising efforts will help us provide vital finishing touches and additional specialist equipment, making The Baird Family Hospital a world-class facility.”

The Baird Family Hospital, currently under construction on the Foresterhill site, is a groundbreaking initiative. For the first time in NHS Grampian’s history, maternity, gynaecology, breast screening, and breast surgery services will be consolidated under one roof. The facility will also house a centre for reproductive medicine, an operating theatre suite, and advanced research and teaching facilities in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen.

To learn more about The Archie Foundation’s Baird Family Hospital Appeal or contribute to their cause, visit their website here. As Charley Lockhart hits the road, his journey symbolises the strength of family bonds and the power of community support in the face of adversity.

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