A volunteer at Rachel House in Kinross has been rewarded for her work by being invited to the opening of the Scottish Parliament at the weekend.
Lesley Simpson was nominated by Liz Smith, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, to be her local hero’ at the event , and she joined hundreds of other heroes from all over Scotland in the Riding procession down the Royal Mile.
Lesley has been volunteering at Rachel House - which is run by Children’s Hospice Association Scotland - for 10 years, helping families make the most of their short time together.
Lesley said: “I was so pleased to represent CHAS at such a prestigious event. Rachel House is a very special place and the families are amazing. I get more out it than I put in, I can’t see myself stopping!
“When I volunteer, I do lots of activities with the children and families – model making to baking, arts and crafts to outdoor activities. It’s an opportunity for families to play together and enjoy themselves.
“Just for one minute they don’t have to worry about what the future holds – they can just enjoy that moment. It is very humbling and puts you own problems into perspective.”
Liz Smith visited Rachel House hospice earlier this year and was inspired by the families, staff and volunteers she met.
She said: “CHAS provides children throughout Scotland with world-leading care helping ensure their lives are lived to the full. When life is short it is important that every day is special in its own right.
“All of the staff and volunteers at Rachel House deserve enormous praise for the work they do and it is my privilege to be able to welcome Lesley to Parliament in light of her ten years’ service with CHAS.
“I was fortunate enough to visit Rachel House recently and see first-hand the positive impact the organisation makes on the lives of sick children and their families. Without volunteers like Lesley, CHAS could not offer world leading care it does and it is only right that she is recognised for her selfless voluntary work with the organisation.”
Highlights of the day included Her Majesty The Queen officially opening the Parliament and Local Heroes taking part in the Riding procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with other participants.
The Riding featured people from all works of life and local community groups.
Also amongst them was five-year-old Agatha King from Cupar, who had been chosen by Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife, as his local hero.
Agatha has supported cancer charities despite undergoing gruelling treatment herself and Mr Rennie said he was ‘amazed’ by her positive attitude.