Charity that aims to help bereaved families is welcomed at Scottish Parliament

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A fundraising mission to provide respite to bereaved families by providing holiday accommodation was welcomed at the Scottish Parliament last week.

Susan and Andrew Simpson are co-founders of Anam Cara Fasgadh, which aims to buy holiday caravans or cabins to give short-break havens to some of the 17,000 families every year in the UK who are affected by stillbirth or the death of a baby, child or young person up to the age of 25.

Last Wednesday, John Finnie MSP hosted a reception at Holyrood for the charity.

Speaking afterwards, Susan Simpson, who lives in Appin, said: ‘Since the early days of Anam Cara Fasgadh’s conception, John has been an amazing support and advocate. It truly was an honour to be invited to the parliament and to share about our aims, hopes and ambitions.’

One of the speakers on the night was Màiri Rodgers, BBC Alba presenter, and Anam Cara Fasgadh patron.

Susan added: ‘We especially appreciated Màiri sharing about her special wee lass Annie, who was born at 21 weeks and has left such a legacy in this world. Màiri shared the magnitude of the number of families who go through bereavement following the death of a baby, child or young person.

‘Our other wonderful patrons could not join us this evening, but Carolyn Harris MP, in the midst of the busyness and craziness of Westminster and Brexit, sent us a video to share with our guests – so thank you for believing in us Carolyn.

‘Our very own Michael McGuire, trustee, shared with guests about the journey for us all this far. His passion for honouring the memory of their son Kyle shines through and above that he honoured the memory of all the children whom we have lost and who have inspired us to reach out to bereaved families.’

Susan also thanked ‘media whiz’ Dr Mikey McManus for his support. He will be creating a film for the charity and the ‘amazing’ dancers of Frankie Campbell Highland Dance.

‘We were so thankful to every single person who came along to our welcome reception,’ Susan added. ‘We really hope they will continue to walk with us on this journey as, together, we make a difference to bereaved families from across the UK.’

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