Logan's Fund respite caravan welcomes first family following lockdown months
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A MORAY-BASED children's cancer charity this week welcomed the first family back to its Lossiemouth respite caravan after coronavirus forced a four-month closure.
Inverurie family Iwona and Peter Rejzner and their children, Olaf (5) and Maria (8), are enjoying a week's break at Logan's Sunny Days caravan after charity Logan's Fund received the green light to reopen the facility.
Sunny Days, at Lossiemouth Bay Caravan Park, is available for any family affected by childhood cancer, whether that be throughout treatment, while in remission or bereaved.
The Rejzners were originally booked to come in June but – like more than 15 other families – their stay had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. They were able to come at very short notice this week after a last-minute cancellation by another family whose little boy had to be kept in hospital.
Logan's Fund chairman Cameron Mackintosh said: "It's been so disappointing that so many families have missed out on a much-needed break.
"What we are trying to do is slot everyone who had their break cancelled into the corresponding week in 2021 – but this, of course, means we are causing a bit of a bottleneck for next year and some other families will miss out that may otherwise not have done."
However, he was delighted that Sunny Days was able to host families once again. He added: "The full experience includes us organising and funding the full week's activities and fun things for families to do and see.
"Most places are still closed to the public – so we are slightly limited with what we can offer for families as things slowly get back to normal.
"We have had really great support from early-openers such as The Wee Ferm at Spring Croft and Wester Hardmuir Fruit Farm."
The family are thoroughly enjoying their stay – their third visit to Sunny Days as Olaf faced cancer treatment and underwent a liver transplant.
The youngster has spent the last three months shielding.
Iwona said earlier this week: "It's been amazing here and it's so great to be out and about after lockdown.
"We are fruit-picking today and we're going to feed animals at a local farm tomorrow.
"Lossie is so lovely and it's just nice to be able to spend time together, play together. Yesterday Olaf was splashing in the water all afternoon in his wetsuit.
"He loves it, being able to run outside. The children don't want to go home."
The mum added: "With cancer, it doesn't end with the last treatment. There are side-effects that last for life."
Coronavirus has impacted on the work of Logan's Fund just as it has on so many other charities. Cameron said that throughout lockdown fundraising had slowed to a trickle of supporters but they had been doing some great work to help.
As well as Sunny Days being closed, the charity's sponsorship programme, Always a Rainbow, was hit hard. Most of the learning experiences it offers families had to be halted, though a few were able to continue online.
Cameron added: "We were still able to support quite a lot of families in other ways – with the granting of everything from puppies to trampolines to musical instruments and lots more.
"We were also really lucky that children's entertainment group, Love Rara, performed Disney and superhero character themed video calls for children, and magician Dean Spruce offered personalised magic shows for children on our behalf."
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