Professor George Youngson CBE was instrumental in bringing Archie to the Highlands, having seen the impact the charity made at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, where he was a surgeon and a member of the original fundraising board.
Our support of community paediatric healthcare made the need for additional support starkly clear and so we undertook the challenge to raise a whopping £2million to help fund the build of the Unit and, crucially, to add the finishing touches to ensure it is as welcoming as possible be for the young patients who visit. HCU was carefully designed with cheerful and brightly-coloured decoration, better layout and its own designated entrance.
Thousands of children have passed through the doors to the unit since it opened in 2016. he Unit was has been receiving patients since 2016 and on 12th February 2020 a grand plaque was unveiled to commemorate the ongoing work between The Archie Foundation and NHS Highland.
The plaque was unveiled by Professor George Youngson and Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael. Pictured are left to right: Interim chief executive of NHS Highland Paul Hawkins, Mary Nimmo, Prof George Youngson, Provost Helen Carmichael, David Sutherland and NHS Highland Chairman Professor Boyd Robertson. Picture by Trevor Martin
Having achieved our aim of creating a child-friendly interior at Highland Children’s Unit we turned our focus to the outdoors and began fundraising for the “Fresh Air Project”.
The aim of this project was to create appealing outside spaces for young patients to enjoy. Our supporters and the local community rallied behind the call and raised a phenomenal £125,000 to transform the area around HCU with landscaping and topiary animals – including a 30ft Nessie – to provide a warm welcome to children and their families.
The project, which is now well underway with the first of three gardens complete, will also mean children can play outside in all weathers, and have interesting and child-friendly views from the windows of the unit.