An inspirational Fife couple whose daughter died two years ago following an extremely rare illness have transformed their home into a respite centre.
Jacqui Lowrie, from Glenrothes, hopes the creation of the new social enterprise will keep her daughter Charley’s legacy alive, as well as alleviating pressures other families across Scotland may be under.
Charley was the oldest female in Scotland to have had Edwards syndrome. She passed away in September 2016 but belied all doctors’ expectations by living for 20 years.
Jacqui and Charley championed the cause of all children with heart conditions and syndromes who may have been refused surgery.
Having experienced the struggle of leaving their daughter in someone else’s care when they needed to rest, Jacqui and her husband John have now set up their new venture, Trusted Breaks in Culdees Avenue to support other people who have to contend with disabilities or complex needs.
It will offer respite care supported by a team of dedicated professionals.
Jacqui said: “Charley ate orally, spoke a few words and walked, everything the medical profession said she wouldn’t do, and she really was a living miracle.
“So we decided to set this up in her honour as a magical place where people’s loved ones can have a short break or a holiday, because we believe every day should be like Christmas Day.
“That’s how my daughter’s life was, and I just think this is going to make such a difference to people’s lives.
“It makes people realise that even though you are going through so much, you can come to terms with it and do something pro-active to help others.
“That’s what my daughter taught me. No matter where you are or what you are going through, you can get up every day and keep going.
“Over the last two years this has been pushing me along and it’s amazing to see it up and running.”
Jacqui had Charley with her former partner Charles Coxson, who is her father, and John has been a loving stepdad for a number of years before he married Jacqui earlier this year.
Jacqui has turned their home into a two-bed respite care facility which also has a wet room, hoists and wheelchair access.
A sensory garden has also been created, the majority of which has been made from recycled or upcycled materials, while plans are also in place for a befriending service for people of all ages, which Jacqui believes will have a big impact on people’s quality of life.
Respite can be accessed through self-referral or via social work.
“We’re so excited about Trusted Breaks and we hope it’s going to bring so much happiness and joy to people,” Jacqui added.