In May 2018, we ran a competition to mark MS Week and Stroke Month, offering the chance to win an 11 night break at Leuchie House for someone with either condition, and their carer or a family member. The winner was Lyndsay Morgan who chose to use the prize to come to Leuchie with her mum Elizabeth in November 2018. Here she shares her experiences of visiting Leuchie for the very first time.
It was a lovely surprise to find that we had won a break and although it is natural to be apprehensive beforehand, once the forms had been filled in and sent off to tell them about my care requirements, we were all set.
We arrived on the Monday and were introduced to everyone that we met (they all had a name badge on so that helped a lot lol!).
You could do as little or as much as you wanted.
The staff had so much respect for the guests, from listening to their needs and knowing when to step up to help assist them, or knowing when to let them get on with it themselves. You never felt neglected or crowded.
We took a trip out to the local Museum of Flight on the Saturday where we were accompanied by a carer who helped me with my manual wheelchair in getting from hangar to hangar, then let me go and explore once inside.
We were able to use Leuchie house as a base if we wished or we could join in the activities. There were activities each morning, afternoon and evening but you were never made to feel that you were forced into doing anything that you didn't want to do.
The staff and volunteers were absolutely outstanding, they couldn't do enough for you. They all were a part of everything. Usually when you go places, the management in particular keep themselves to themselves. But all the folk at Leuchie helped people with whatever they needed, including helping people at mealtimes. They were so approachable, and nothing was ever too much trouble.
I had a Physio assessment on the afternoon that I arrived and I got to try the Vibrogym which was great. I especially liked being able to hold poses for Pilates and Yoga because I cannot stand for a long time.
Both mum and I had a massage and had reflexology twice, which was absolutely amazing!
The building and grounds were beautiful even in the rain - it was November! While we wish we could have spent some time outside, it was good to spend time in the House socialising with the other guests.
We met and interacted with some amazing people and have made plans to keep in contact with some of them outside Leuchie too
The food was first class and on the last night we had a dinner party after which some of the local pipers came to play to us.
You could tell that the people they employ and the volunteers are dedicated and love what they are doing.
My Mam also thought that the hospitality was really warm and welcoming, and that all the staff were very approachable and friendly. She also loved the way that the staff were with the guests, making sure they were included in everything if they wanted to be.
A big THANK YOU to you all again for making our break so enjoyable. Hopefully it won't be our last visit.
Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a fab New Year
Lots of love
Lyndsay and Elizabeth XOXO