Everest mountaineer plans to launch a new innovative event in order to take beloved Scottish respite centre to new heights

Bosses of respite centre Leuchie House which almost closed more than a decade ago are hoping to take its offerings to new heights with a lunch event launched by a mountaineer.

By Annabelle Gauntlett
Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:55 am
Leuchie House: where the fundraiser event plans to take place
Leuchie House: where the fundraiser event plans to take place

Kenton Cool, the first non-Nepali to reach the 29,032ft peak of Mount Everest 16 times, will be the main speaker at the "Leuchie Long Lunch", which aims to become an annual fixture in the corporate fundraising calendar.

It is being organised to raise vital funds for Leuchie House - a renowned respite centre based in East Lothian providing transformational breaks for people from all over Scotland who are living with neurological conditions such as MS, MND, stroke and Parkinson's.

It is hoped the annual lunch event at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, will help to further raise its profile, showcasing its incredible work while also raising vital funds to expand its reach.

Mark Bevan; CEO of Leuchie House

While a new theme will be announced annually, the inaugural event will focus on leadership and laughter, with Kenton Cool delivering the leadership element.

Edinburgh magician Kevin Quantum will provide the laughter and Natasha Raskin Sharp, the presenter of BBC1 show Bargain Hunt will be the MC on the evening. The accomplished antiques and fine art expert will also host the auction.

Mark Bevan, chief executive at Leuchie House, said: “This promises to be an amazing event with a brilliant lineup of entertainment being laid on. We are grateful to have Natasha and Kevin on board.

“We support people from all over Scotland from our base in East Lothian but like Kenton Cool, we want to scale new heights, with higher expectations of ourselves. Our aspiration is to reach anyone who could benefit from access to Leuchie House.”

Leuchie House provides families with a break from caring responsibilities and is set across three floors, offering 18 en-suite fitted bedrooms. It offers physiotherapy, nutritious meals, activities and outings, and the chance to socialise and meet new people.

Mr Bevan added: “The breaks are genuinely transformational for individuals with daily intensive caring responsibilities. For people living with these kinds of conditions and their loved ones, a short break can be an absolute godsend and provides much-needed respite.

“The fact that we can offer a regulated environment offers additional reassurance, thanks to our in-house neuro-experienced team of nurses, physiotherapist, occupational therapists, technology experts and carers.”

The house was at the centre of a controversy in 2010, when the MS Society Scotland announced its closure, despite a £10million donation by JK Rowling to fund research into the disease. The author’s mother was a sufferer of MS and died in 1990 from complications relating to the condition.

But following a successful campaign to set up Leuchie House as an independent charity, the centre now offers a wide range of assistive technologies and fundraising events help it to keep investing, with tech seen as the key to helping it expands its reach to more people who can benefit from its services.

Confirmed sponsors of the event include Progeny, Allied Surveyors and Hamilton Waste. The event is set to bring together 450 business professionals including entrepreneurs, professional advisers, financial institutions and SMEs to Prestonfield House on 25 November.

Tables of 10 are available at £1200 and offered on a strictly first come, first served basis. The ticket includes lunch, a glass of champagne on arrival and all the entertainment.