Leuchie’s Christmas Connections Appeal

A long-term condition should not stop you from being connected to the things that help you live a full and happy life.

It can be difficult to truly understand the challenges our guests and their carers face living with a long-term condition such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease and the effects of stroke. The often inevitable loss of connection to the people and things in life that are important like family, independence, community, friendship and wellbeing can be hard to bear. 

This is why Leuchie is a lifeline for so many. We are dedicated to providing respite breaks tailored to our guests unique needs and preferences, all while giving carers the essential break they need to recharge.

The wonderful staff and volunteers at Leuchie go above and beyond to give guests and carers the 'gift of connections' to the things in life that bring them joy. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' at Leuchie. 

This Christmas, help Leuchie connect people to the things that make them happy by making a gift today.

For guest, Mary, the opportunity to connect and socialise with others, while maintaining as much independence as she can is really important to her: 

"I hope that this festive season you will consider supporting the incredible work Leuchie does by making a gift of whatever you feel able. This is just my story, but I know there are countless others who would agree with me when I say that Leuchie is a lifeline.

I was working as a charge nurse in a nursing home when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, although I’d been experiencing symptoms for some time. I actually felt a sense of relief to finally know that it hadn’t all been in my head and a determination to tackle what lay ahead.

I poured my energy into trying to remain “normal”, determined to stay active and not let my condition dictate my life. I spent as much time as I could with my family and friends and kept active in my local community. I also continued to work part time but the only difference proved to be less money for the same amount of work. It wasn’t until I relapsed 15 years later that things really began to change.

For a while, my husband Peter continued working at home and abroad and I managed with carers coming in to assist me. As my health declined, I needed Peter at home more. Our lovely daughters do what they can to help, but they have their own jobs, their own children and their own responsibilities, so caring for me and looking after the house, falls squarely on Peter’s shoulders.

This is why Leuchie has been such a lifesaver for us. There simply are no other options for respite in Aberdeen. Having been a nurse in a nursing home, I know care homes are not suitable for people with complex conditions such as mine and that there is little or no opportunity to socialise in these environments.

Having a place like Leuchie, dedicated to providing respite breaks to people and their carers affected by long-term conditions is priceless.

I have to admit I was hesitant when my friend, who had been to Leuchie before, recommended I give it a try. Hand on heart, coming to Leuchie has been life-changing! It has helped Peter and I reconnect to the things that are really important to us.

Having lived and worked in Aberdeen for 40 years in ‘people-focused’ roles as a midwife, health visitor, childminder and nurse, the opportunity to connect, make friends and learn new things is key for me. A stay at Leuchie offers just that.

At Leuchie, just about anything is possible. There is an array of activities (scented candle making being a particular favourite of mine!) and varied and interesting outings, like a trip along part of the John Muir Way or the incredible live musical performances held at Leuchie. I even had the chance to visit my sister up in Edinburgh recently too.

But it’s not just about the benefits I get from coming to Leuchie. Peter gets a break while I’m away, to reconnect with his family and friends and have a proper holiday as well. On my last break at Leuchie, I booked a trip for him to visit his sister and mother, who had just celebrated her 90th birthday! He doesn’t get to see his mother often as she is no longer able to travel, so I know how much it means to him to be able to go to her. Peter feels much happier going away when he knows I am relaxing at Leuchie.

Connections to family and friends are so important and, as I am sure you are, Peter and I look forward to the time we’ll have with our family this Christmas – our daughters and five wonderful grandchildren. Please consider making a gift to Leuchie today. While you’re doing that, think about connections that are important to you, like spending quality time with those you love.

Know that your gift, of any amount, will help families like mine reconnect to the things in life that are really important: friends, family, independence, fun and above all, to living a life that is happy and full.

With best wishes over the holidays"

Mary Ross, Leuchie guest


Add what connections are important to you to the Leuchie paperchain. This will be added to a paperchain made by Leuchie guests and displayed in the House over the festive period! You can download the form here and print and send back your link of the paperchain.