Highland Hospice has officially named its fundraising vans ‘Flora’ and ‘Cecilia’ after the charity’s founders Flora Mackay and Cecilia Bottomley.
Whilst working as nurses in the old Culduthel Hospital in Inverness in the early 1980s, the ladies decided that they should be able to provide better care to those with a life-shortening illness. In the spring of 1983, a committee drove forward their vision and Highland Hospice was born. Less than five years later, on November 17th 1987, the first patient entered through the doors.
Over the next three decades, thanks to the generous support of the Highland public, the Hospice has been renovated, extended and ultimately replaced with a brand new Inpatient Unit which was opened in November 2016.
Highland Hospice’s Head of Fundraising Andrew Leaver said, “When we decided to name our vans, ‘Flora’ and ‘Cecilia’ were the natural choices – as without these ladies there would be no Highland Hospice.”
“The vans are an important part of our daily activity, visiting each of our shops across the Highlands to deliver and collect clothing, bric-a-brac and other donated items.”
“’Flora’ was donated to us by the Highland Cross 2012 and our new van ‘Cecilia’ by Highland Cross 2018, and we are extremely grateful to Highland Cross for their continued and generous support over the years.”
The Hospice vans are driven around the Highlands five days a week by volunteers, one of whom is John Urquhart from Ullapool. John said, “Volunteering to be a van driver is one of the best things I have ever done. Not only is it sociable, but you also see some of the most beautiful scenery in the Highlands whilst out on the road. The Hospice is extremely close to my heart and volunteering really gives me a sense of doing something worthwhile.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer van driver for Highland Hospice, please visit www.highlandhospice.org/volunteer where you can register your interest online.