The Stornoway-based charity the Leanne Fund is to expand its activity into Tayside, thanks to £15,000 in support from the NHS Tayside Community Innovation Fund.
The new territory takes the Leanne Fund’s activity coast-to-coast across Scotland, from the Western Isles to Aberdeen and from Shetland to the central belt.
It’s a huge boost for the organisation, which already brings practical and emotional support, treats, complementary therapies and a positive attitude to more than 150 people living with the life-long condition in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Grampian.
The Leanne Fund was founded in Point in 2010 by the family of the late Leanne Mitchell, who passed away at the age of 21. Working with a group of Western Isles supporters they set out to give real and practical help to those affected by Cystic Fibrosis. Their personal experience of treatment and available health services helped them to understand the very specific needs of CF patients and their families.
The Leanne Fund has now been delivering their unique and empathetic support across the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland for nine years. Working from a base in Stornoway, the organisation expanded in 2016 to offer further support across Moray, Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland and will now also provide support in Angus, the City of Dundee, Perth and Kinross.
The funding will allow a new post, advertised this week, to be created in Stornoway. Development manager Chrisetta Mitchell will be joined in the Point Street office by an administrative assistant, freeing her time to develop personal relationships with more CF patients and their families.
Patients and families will be able to choose from existing services such as Pamper Hampers – mood-lifting packages of snacks and toiletries for patients undergoing lengthy hospital admissions. Complementary therapies, counselling and support through the Get Active fitness programme will also be extended to up to 71 new contacts in Tayside.
The new post is to be advertised this week (Friday October 4th) and the service delivery in Tayside is scheduled to begin on November 4th.
Development manager Chrisetta Mitchell said: “The NHS Tayside Community Innovation funding is a huge boost to the Leanne Fund. We always want to help more people but we have to take things slowly to ensure that our support remains consistent to the people with Cystic Fibrosis in all the regions where we work.
“My own workload has not so far allowed the additional time for this expansion, but an additional member of staff will deal with duties such as organising our own fundraising events, admin and secretarial support. This will free up a significant portion of time, in which the great successes we’ve seen in growing the work of The Leanne Fund can progress into Tayside, as we have seen in other NHS regions.
“Cystic Fibrosis is a life-limiting, progressive disease and the burden of treatment and permanent presence of symptoms can be very stressful. We focus on creating services which meet the needs of individuals, because no two patients are exactly the same, and on creating happy memories now to last a lifetime.
“Our aim is to help children and young people affected by CF and their families have access to services and funds that make life a little easier. We can’t wait to offer that service in Tayside.”
NHS Tayside Community Capacity Building officer, Richard McIntosh said: “NHS Tayside Community Innovation Fund is delighted to support the Leanne Fund.
“Their services are new and innovative and will benefit the health and wellbeing of people living with Cystic Fibrosis across Tayside.”