Children's Hospice Association Scotland

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Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS)
Formation 1992
Type Registered charity
Purpose To provide palliative care to children and young people with life-shortening conditions
Region served Scotland

Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) is a registered charity that provides the country's only hospice services for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.[1] Scottish charity number SC 019724.[2] CHAS offers children’s hospice services, free of charge, to every child, young person and their families who needs and wants them.[3] CHAS was formed in February 1992 by a group of professionals and parents of children with life-shortening conditions who had travelled to England for hospice care.

Rachel House Children’s Hospice, Kinross[edit]

Work to build Rachel House, Scotland’s first children's hospice, started in December 1994. The land to build Rachel House in Kinross was donated by the Montgomery family who owned Kinross House which stands next to the hospice. Rachel House was named after Lady Rachel Workman MacRobert in recognition of a £2 million donation by The MacRobert Trust. A 17-month fundraising appeal by the Daily Record (Scotland) newspaper raised £4 million towards the £10 million building cost and the full target was raised 13 months later. On 16 December 1994 celebrity supporter Philip Schofield cut the first turf for Rachel House, assisted by children from Kinross Primary School. The hospice was opened in March 1996[4] by The Princess Royal.

CHAS at Home (formerly Rachel House at Home)[edit]

In 2003 Rachel House at Home launched, offering a home care service to families in their own homes. The service originally operated out of The Highland Hospice in Inverness and moved to Ardross Terrace, Inverness in June 2009.[5] In December 2008 Rachel House at Home became known as CHAS at Home. In December 2011 CHAS at Home launched an Aberdeen base at Rosemount Place, Aberdeen[6]

Robin House Children’s Hospice, Balloch[edit]

A fundraising appeal to build Scotland’s second hospice Robin House in Balloch near Loch Lomond began in 2001 with readers of the Sunday Post helping raise the £10 million needed to complete the project. Robin House was named after the European Robin bird. In May 2003, the work began on the building with celebrity supporters Ewan McGregor and Sharleen Spiteri cutting the first turf with six year old Robyn Watterson who at the time used Rachel House.[7] Robin House opened in August 2005.


CHAS published two pieces of research in 2007 undertaken with the Cancer Care Research Centre, University of Stirling. The first evaluated future research priorities for CHAS[8] and the second identified the existing home care service.[9]

In 2008, the Scottish Government published the report Living and Dying Well, a national action plan for palliative and end of life care in Scotland.[10] CHAS staff members were integral to the consultation on children’s and teenage palliative care.[11]

In June 2011 a new research project undertaken by the Cancer Care Research Centre at the University of Stirling was published investigating the experiences and symptoms of children and young people with life-shortening conditions.[12]


For the financial year 2010-11 it cost £6.8 million to fulfil CHAS services. CHAS employs 232 staff across 11 sites in Scotland, as well as 79 bank relief workers within the hospices. Over 900 volunteers support CHAS in care services, fundraising, retail and administration.[13]

CHAS receives between 12% and 18% of its funding from local authorities and NHS health boards. The majority of its funding is provided by the general public through voluntary donations.


In addition to Rachel House, Robin House and CHAS at Home in the north of Scotland CHAS operates four fundraising offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Kinross and Stepps which cover all areas of Scotland. CHAS Trading has a small retail team based in Kinross who manage the CHAS gift shop, two second hand charity shops, called Bazaar. Teams based in Head Office in Edinburgh: Chief Executive, Finance and Administration (IT, Finance and Facilities), Fundraising and Communications (Fundraising, Public Relations and Marketing) and Organisational Development (HR, Learning and Development and Voluntary Services).


  1. ^ "Children's Hospices UK". List of UK children's hospices. 
  2. ^ "OSCR". Scottish Charity Register. 
  3. ^ "CHAS website". Mission and Key Facts. 
  4. ^ Adams, Lisa (3 April 2006). "The girl none of us will ever forget". Daily Record. Retrieved 3 April 2006. 
  5. ^ "Hospice opens new office in north". BBC News. 24 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "CHAS at home service launches in Aberdeen". Ellon Times. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Stars start work at £10m hospice". BBC. 14 May 2003. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Malcolm, M; Forbat E; Knighting K; Kearney N; (2008). "Exploring the experiences and perspectives of families using a children’s hospice and professionals providing hospice care to identify future research priorities for children’s hospice care". Palliative Medicine 22: 921-928. doi:10.1177/0269216308098214. 
  9. ^ Knighting, K; McCann, L,. Forbat, L and Kearney, N (2007). "An Evaluation of the Rachel House at Home Service for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland". University of Stirling. 
  10. ^ Donnelly, R. "LIVING AND DYING WELL a national action plan for palliative and end of life care in Scotland". Scottish Government. Retrieved September 2008. 
  11. ^ "Cross-party groups in the Scottish Parliament Annual Return Form". Scottish Government. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  12. ^ Malcolm, Adams, Anderson, Gibson, Hain, Morley and Forbat. "The symptom profile and experience". Cancer Care Research Centre, University of Stirling. Retrieved June 2011. 
  13. ^ CHAS Annual Review. CHAS. 2009-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]