Image by Marc Pell

Hawthorn Brae

Until 2020, EMMS International funded respite holidays for people living in Edinburgh with life-limiting illnesses, enabling them to have an affordable break with a family member. This essential service is now delivered by an exciting new partnership between EMMS International and VOCAL.  For those living with life-limiting illnesses, respite holidays give a chance to rest, recuperate and make treasured memories.

The Anwar Family

The Anwar family has three boys, aged 5, 13, and 15 years. Two of them live with a genetic muscle disorder, which means they cannot walk due to weakened muscles and curvature of their spines. They have to crawl to get around. Alongside this, the brothers often get chest infections, as they suffer from reduced lung function. They fall ill so easily.

Their middle brother, aged 13, is a real source of help to their mother. He helps feed his brothers and care for them, especially when their father is too ill himself to help – he was signed off work when the family first approached the Hawthorn Brae scheme, which added to their already stressful situation.

Their mother has a workload in caring for these boys’ personal needs. Although she has lived all her life in the UK, she was feeling very isolated as all her relatives live abroad. The Hawthorn Brae scheme awarded the Anwar family a £900 grant to help fund a holiday to visit relatives.

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