A Fraserburgh boy is raffling a cuddly dinosaur to help raise funds for two charities close to his family’s hearts.
Connor Easdale (7) has organised an online charity draw to find new owners for CHAS, the soft, purple Build-A-Bear toy.
Funds raised by the draw will be split between Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), which provides care to Connor’s little brother Jayden (4), and the Stanley Beau Foundation, set up in memory of Jayden’s friend who sadly passed away last year.
Jayden (4), has a rare genetic disease Tay Sachs and receives care from both the CHAS at Home team and Rachel House in Kinross.
CHAS, which supports over 450 families like Jayden’s across Scotland, is committed to making sure every moment they spend together is filled with as much happiness and fun as possible.
Jayden is currently shielding at his home in Fraserburgh where he lives with Connor, sister Kaitlin (20) and mum and dad, Lynn and Brian.
CHAS the dinosaur comes with its own beating heart inside and wears a funky dino t-shirt. The plush prize also comes with a birth certificate and dinosaur book.
Mum Lynn said: “The idea came about as Connor wanted to help another little boy or girl smile during these hard times while we are all in lockdown while also helping to raise money for two charities close to all our hearts.
“CHAS has supported Jayden for the last two years and we would be lost without their support. We truly are so grateful for all they do for us. The Stanley Beau Foundation is a new charity set up in memory of one of Jayden’s friends who also suffered from Tay Sachs so we wanted to help this cause as well.
“Connor is one special brother who goes above and beyond for Jayden – they are so close and I am so proud of him for arranging this wee dino raffle. There are 400 squares costing just £2 each and we have 231 left so hopefully more people will come forward soon to buy some.”
Connor said: “I decided to do this as I thought it would be a fun way to give something back to CHAS for helping to look after my little brother and also help the charity set up in memory of Stanley who was a good friend of Jayden’s.”
Squares for Connor’s prize draw can be purchased on the Jayden’s Journey Facebook page.
CHAS Community Fundraiser Emma Moore said: “We are so grateful to Connor and the Easdale family for helping to raise money for CHAS through this toy dinosaur raffle.
“With so many of our events being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic we are relying on our supporters to come up with creative ways such as this to fundraise virtually. All contributions at this hugely challenging time go a long way towards enabling us to continue our work to help keep the joy alive for children with life shortening illnesses and their families across Scotland.”
Like many other charities in the current pandemic, CHAS has had to dramatically transform the way in which it operates. While both Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch are continuing to provide end of life care, the charity has also set up the UK’s first ever virtual children’s hospice to support families who are having to completely self-isolate.
Now in its second month, the virtual hospice offers extensive support to families by phone and video on clinical guidance, financial advice and bereavement support. CHAS family support teams also offer a range of interactive activities, art clubs, storytelling and friendship calls to children and parents.