Today, we are thrilled to announce that CHAS has been gifted the Ardoch Estate in West Dunbartonshire – an amazing place for our families, staff, volunteers and service partners
Almost fifteen months ago, we were approached by Peter Armitage, whose charitable foundation owns the Ardoch estate in West Dunbartonshire. He offered to gift the estate to CHAS, along with a monetary contribution to our services.
Even as we write this and know it to be true, it still feels an unbelievable stroke of good fortune. If you have not been to Ardoch, we encourage you to view our video. The place is stunning. Not just because of its grounds, with unmatched views over Loch Lomond, but also because of the beautiful conference centre and event space. The house and adjoining cottage have 18 bedrooms between them. There’s a reception space, meeting rooms and a café area with modern catering facilities – all created in a building that blends old and new seamlessly.
What strikes you most about this stunning environment both outside and in, however, is the overwhelming sense of calm. When Maria McGill and I went to visit for the first time, we knew this was a special place which could add to CHAS.
In so many ways, Ardoch is perfect for CHAS: to help us support more families in new and diverse ways and to begin to realise our ambition to create a centre of excellence for palliative care services. Ardoch is a very generous gift, but it also carries great responsibility. For that reason, we have spent almost a year consulting with our professional advisors and the current team at Ardoch to fully understand how the centre functions, and how we could make it work for our families, our staff and volunteers and our service partners. Amazingly, the gift also includes £1m as a cash donation. While this is a magnificent amount, it does not detract from the need for the hugely valuable work done by our volunteers and fundraisers, up and down the country, who are working with us to achieve our goal to reach more families.
It has been quite a journey. It has been humbling in the light of Peter’s abundant generosity, and it has been exciting as the opportunities for CHAS became increasingly apparent. And now that every consideration has been unpicked, discussed and addressed, the handover of the Ardoch estate will happen later this year. After a built-in transition period of 15 months, CHAS will take over its operation July 2021.
Our heartfelt thanks to Peter Armitage. This will make an amazing difference to CHAS and the children and families we support all over Scotland.
And we look forward to introducing as many families, staff, volunteers and partners as possible to the inspirational Ardoch!
Rami Okasha, appointed CHAS Chief Executive from 1 February