Hello there reader! Gosh it feels like a good while since I've added any posts to my blog, which is true but that's only because I've been busy writing up video game reviews for Tired Mummy of Two. I've also been away with my two girls to Scotland, a week's stay at Malcolm Sargent House in Prestwick, Ayrshire. This is a venue that I've been to previously, however, I don't think the weather was as bad back in May. In case you don't already, Malcolm Sargent House is a holiday home for families who have children affected by cancer, which is run by the charity, CLIC Sargent
My week began travelling up to Scotland without my wife (she became very ill at the last moment). I was therefore really looking forward to a week alone with Elizabeth and Alison. Due to a storm coming in off the Atlantic ocean, most weather forecasters predicted a 'weather bomb' would hit the west of the British Isles. This turned out to be a very accurate prediction, as it felt like we were living in a hurricane for the majority of the week. It was a week filled with fast winds, infinite grey clouds and high waves!
Fortunately, the weather didn't dampen our spirits and the girls and I were able to still go out in Ayr for various activities. However, on the Wednesday night the weather became rather extreme and lightning struck the chimney breast of Malcolm Sargent House. There we were sat in the front room with two other families, when an almighty bang went off outside the window and the TV cut out, as well as the outside Christmas tree's lights going pop! It was so sudden and we initially didn't know what to do. I then witnessed debris coming down the chimney onto the open fireplace. At this point I suggested that we quickly evacuate the living room.
The staff at Malcolm Sargent House sprung into action immediately and gathered us all in the dining area. Once it was confirmed that we wouldn't be able to stay in the house that night, we gathered our belongings and drove to a nearby hotel (The Western House Hotel) at Ayr Racecourse. The accommodation was amazing and the staff were so friendly. It was clear that they were used to serving business type guests, however, they especially seemed to enjoy the presence of Elizabeth and Alison.
The following day revealed that the lightning strike had caused significant damage to the chimney, which in turn meant that the building was not structurally safe for visitors. Also, the security and fire alarm system were blown, adding further work to an ever growing list. CLIC Sargent hopes to rectify the problems by the end of this week, to ensure that next week's guests will be able to celebrate Christmas with Santa and his elves. It's a magical time of year that brings joy to all the children who stay at Malcolm Sargent House. So ensuring that the house is open has become a huge priority for CLIC Sargent.
It didn't take CLIC Sargent that long to make good of a bad situation, as the communications team immediately contacted TV stations and the local press to cover the story. I was very much willing to assist where possible and ended up giving an interview to STV for their local news report. As a special thank you, CLIC Sargent arranged for the girls and I to visit Heads of Ayr Farm Park, who had kindly agreed to open their doors to us despite being closed.
You can help CLIC Sargent keep families of young cancer patients together this Christmas by donating to their JustGiving page or simply text 'XMAS' to 70800 to donate £5.00 (The donation will be taken from your mobile's next bill, plus your standard network text charge). You can also help raise awareness of the appeal through social media.