MSP enrols in Forest School at Robin House

Brian Whittle, MSP for South Scotland, visited Robin House today to take part in an interactive outdoor craft session with children staying in the hospice run by Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

Mr Whittle met with children and families who are supported by Robin House to hear about their experiences and the care CHAS provides to children, young people and their families across Scotland who live with life-shortening conditions.

The MSP was then invited to roll up his sleeves and join in a forest school lesson in the six-acre gardens of Robin House.  These sessions allow children and young people who usually spend a lot of time indoors, the chance to experience the natural world, enjoy new colours, smells and textures and improve their confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning. The lesson was led by Activities Coordinator, Eilidh Grant, whose team provide a whole range of fun activities for families staying at Robin House.

MSP enrols in Forest School at Robin House
Brian Whittle with children and staff from Robin House

Brian Whittle, MSP said:

“The work done by CHAS is so important to so many families across Scotland, it’s always a pleasure to visit and see first-hand what they’re doing. Spending time outdoors in nature is great for anyone’s physical and mental health and it was great fun to come along and take part in the forest school.

“CHAS are there for people during what can be one of the most challenging experiences of anyone’s life. It’s a real privilege for me to be able to support them in parliament and hear about their exciting plans for the future.”

During his visit, Mr Whittle also met with newly appointed Chief Executive, Rami Okasha, to hear about CHAS’s work and to find out about their plans for Ardoch Estate in West Dunbartonshire which was recently donated to the charity.

MSP enrols in Forest School at Robin House
From Left to right: Rami Okasha (CEO of CHAS), Brian Whittle (MSP) and Eilidh Duncan (8) who is supported by Robin House taking part in forest school

Rami Okasha, Chief Executive at CHAS, said:

“Brian is a great advocate for CHAS and spoke very highly of our work at our ‘Keeping the Joy Alive’ parliamentary reception last year.

“It was a real pleasure to meet him today at Robin House to take part in our forest school lesson and experience the impact sessions like these have on the children and young people we support. It was a really brilliant day and great to see everyone having fun and learning about nature in the beautiful gardens of the hospice.

“CHAS also supports children and their families in hospital and in their own home and during his visit, I shared with Brian our ambitious plans for the future and our mission to reach every family in Scotland who need our care.”

In Scotland, nearly 16,000 children and young people live with life-shortening conditions. CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people. CHAS offers a full family support service, respite, palliative care and end of life care via its two hospices – Robin House in Balloch and Rachel House in Kinross – and through its increasing presence in hospitals across Scotland. The charity has recently launched a pioneering partnership with Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children providing one of the first hospital-based Supportive and Palliative Care Teams in Scotland. CHAS also supports families in their own homes through its CHAS at Home service.

To get find out more about CHAS or to make a donation, please visit