YOUNGSTERS battling cancer are being given the chance to enjoy a day out thanks to the generosity of intu Braehead shopping centre.
The mall has donated £500 worth of intu Gift Cards to the Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs charity, which provides free days out and short breaks for patients being treated at the Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow.
The charity was set up by Hollie and Kris Dear, whose son, Hamish bravely fought Neuroblastoma cancer for nine months, but sadly passed away in November 2015, at the age of three.
Along with his mum and dad, Hamish spent most of his last nine months in hospital receiving treatment, but there were times the family could leave the ward to go for a day out to enjoy themselves.
Although Hollie, 29 and 34-year-old Kris could afford to pay for these days out themselves, they want other children getting cancer treatment to have the same chance to enjoy shopping and leisure attractions without their families worrying about the cost.
And with the donation of the intu Gift Cards, youngsters and their families can go shopping in the malls, eat out at cafes and restaurants, as well as enjoying the many leisure attractions – like the cinema, ten-pin bowling or even sledging on real snow – in Soar at intu Braehead.
Hollie said: “We hope that a ‘warm hug’ from Hamish will help keep children smiling through their toughest battles.
“We’ve already raised £30,000 to buy vouchers that can be spent in shops and leisure attractions since we started the charity in May, last year.
“We have what we call a treasure chest in the hospital’s Schiehallion Ward and Day-Care Unit, which we keep filled with gift cards and vouchers that can be handed out to families at any time.”
Hollie, from Aberdeenshire, explains why she and her husband, Kris started the Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs charity:” “We have some really happy memories of being out and about with Hamish and not just being stuck in the hospital ward and we want other families to experience this as well.
“We want them to make their own happy memories, just like we did with Hamish.
“Families are always very grateful for the chance to do something with their children using what’s in our treasure chest and we know it’s been really worthwhile when they don’t thank us, but thank Hamish and realise why we started the charity.
“And people who do so much fundraising for us also know that they are doing it in Hamish’s name.
“Hamish filled our lives with love and laughter and his sense of humour and caring nature is something we will never forget.”
Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “From speaking to Hollie and Kris it’s obvious that Hamish brought lots of smiles and happy memories to them during his short life.
“And with the good work being done in his name through the charity, Hamish will be bringing even more happiness to youngsters and their families for a long time to come.
“The donation from our intu Braehead Community Fund is definitely money well spent and we hope the youngsters and the families who benefit by coming along to the mall and enjoying our many leisure attractions at Soar.”