A fresh new year is a great opportunity to try new things, set challenges and get involved in your local community. You can make 2019 count by helping children with life-shortening conditions and their families in Fife.

No matter how little time you have to give – an hour here, an hour there – Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (better known as CHAS) can find a volunteering role that makes a big difference to your life and the lives of the families they care for in your local area.

“My learning curve has rocketed since joining CHAS because every day you come in you learn on the go” says Archivist Volunteer Sabeena Mughal, who is keeping up her professional skills in the volunteer role while she full-time cares for her two young daughters.

“I would highly recommend volunteering with CHAS if you have professional skills or you’re a full-time parent. It’s such a great organisation, to inspire you and to use your professional skills.”

Three children die every week in Scotland from a life-shortening condition, and at present, CHAS is only able to reach one of those. Described as a ‘lifeline’ by many families they care for, CHAS is on a mission to be there for every family who needs them. But to reach them all, CHAS must recruit more volunteers.

The national children’s hospice service currently involves over 890 volunteers in every area of the organisation, from retail to nursing and fundraising to events photography. Without them, CHAS wouldn’t be able to care for families across the whole of Scotland, facing the unimaginable – that their child will die.

Morven MacLean, Head of Volunteering at CHAS, said: “There are so many benefits to be gained from volunteering such as making new friends, learning new skills and developing your confidence. We have a variety of flexible opportunities to get involved with to fit around busy work schedules, as well as opportunities for children too, so no matter how little time you have to give, or your age, we want to hear from you.”

CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. The national charity offers palliative care and respite for the whole family via its two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch. Its CHAS at Home service supports families in their own homes across the whole of Scotland and has teams working in communities and hospitals across the country.

To find out more about volunteering with CHAS, go to www.chas.org.uk/volunteer