THE work of the Scottish Children's Hospices Across Scotland was praised by Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing in the Scottish Parliament.

MSPs came together at a parliamentary reception to celebrate the work of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – better known as CHAS – as it continues to ‘Keep The Joy Alive’ for children with a life-shortening condition.

Earlier that afternoon, Ms Annabelle Ewing MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Cowdenbeath constituency, spoke in a debate in the Scottish Parliament to highlight the impact CHAS makes to the families as it strives to reach every baby, child and young person with a life-shortening condition living in Scotland. MSPs from across the political parties spoke about their personal experiences and support of CHAS during the debate.

Ms Ewing said:“I wanted to take the opportunity of the debate to pay tribute to CHAS’s staff and volunteers, who do a remarkable job and deserve our heartfelt thanks. It is worth noting the quite remarkable statistic that it currently has 864 volunteers who have donated around 59,310 hours to the children and families across Scotland who are supported by it.

“I also pay tribute to all those who fundraise for CHAS the length and breadth of the country and at all times of the year.

"For example, just recently, in my constituency, there was a show in Crossgates where we saw Cowdenbeath band the Sunset Spirit playing and donating their time for CHAS, so well done to them. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a charitable organisation that inspires such determined and loyal fundraising and which is so universally supported by the generosity of the public.”

Maria McGill, Chief Executive of CHAS, said: “Three children a week die in Scotland from a life-shortening condition and CHAS is determined to be there for all of them. Knowing that your child, brother or sister will die young and may deteriorate at any moment is the hardest thing for a family. It is wonderful to have the support of so many MSPs who genuinely want to help and support those families.”

For over 25 years, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – better known as CHAS – has been caring for families and their babies, children and young people by offering palliative care, family respite and support. CHAS now works across its two national hospices in Kinross and Balloch, in children’s homes in every local part of Scotland, and in hospitals where CHAS teams works alongside NHS colleagues.