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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > February 2018 > Faith into action

Faith into action

Thomas Baldwin meets the outgoing chair of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland Professor Gordon Dickson, a Church of Scotland elder.

FOR a place that you might expect to be mostly about death, Rachel House is remarkably full of life.

The House is one of only two specialist children’s hospices in Scotland – the other is Robin House, in Balloch, at the southern tip of Loch Lomond – both run by CHAS (formerly Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, now operating as Children’s Hospices Across Scotland).

Tucked away behind the centre of Kinross, one end of the discreet two-storey complex rings with noise: happy chattering children, singing along to the music therapy, playing with the toys scattered around the common area. It could almost be a regular nursery.

In the next room, there are pool tables, musical instruments and computers for teenagers. Advances in medical science mean people who in the past would not have survived through childhood are increasingly living into their teens and beyond; and the hospice is adapting accordingly.

Nearby there is a jacuzzi and a sensory room, outside there’s a large garden with play equipment. In the bedrooms, the emphasis is on homeliness and familiarity, with the children’s own bedding, toys and pictures. It’s as far removed from a typical clinical environment as it can be: medical and mobility equipment is as unobtrusive as possible, and the staff don’t wear uniforms.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: THE SAINTS OF SCOTLAND - The saintly people who shaped Scotland FAITH INTO ACTION - The outgoing chair of CHAS –a Church of Scotland elder A FRESH STATEMENT OF FAITH? - A need to review the role of the Westminster Confession of Faith and much much more...