An island girl who will always be remembered, has inspired those who knew her to come together for a good cause.
Staff and pupils at three Lewis primary schools, together with support staff from NHS Western Isles and Action for Children in Stornoway, are to follow the lifetime journey of Olivia Macleod of Melbost, who tragically passed away on 2 January this year at just eight years old.
Olivia’s ninth birthday would have been next week (18 May) and education and health staff, as well as fellow school pupils, think a fitting way to remember her life is to bring together those who remember her for the good of other children.
A walk called Olivia’s Journey, on 18 June, will follow the 20 mile route from Sgoil an Rubha, where Olivia was a nursery pupil, past her home in Melbost and her burial place at Aignish cemetery, to Stornoway primary school where her siblings study and on to Sgoil nan Loch, where Olivia was supported to receive primary schooling.
The walk will raise funds in her memory for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, which provides in-hospital activity and support for sick children.
In her short life Olivia attended the hospital regularly, both for routine appointments and for admissions, and her family saw at first hand how the charity helped to make the hospital experience a positive one for children and their parents.
They said that, although there were difficult times associated with being in hospital, there were fun and happy times too – such as her fourth birthday, where staff and ‘clown doctors’ made the day a very special one.
In Olivia’s memory, pupils at all three of the schools connected with her family are also walking the 20 miles – but within their own school grounds throughout the whole month of May.
Executive headteacher Patricia Macleod said: “Olivia was a lovely little girl who brought a lot of joy to everyone who worked with her.
“In Sgoil nan Loch the enhanced provision for children with severe and complex needs is an integral part of the school and something that other pupils are fully engaged with.
“Olivia loved everyone, both staff and fellow-pupils, and was such a joyful personality, full of smiles. The pupils were very fond of her and enjoyed coming in to work with her.
“All the children are very excited to be part of this project and we are looking forward to completing this together in aid of this wonderful charity.”
The fundraising page launched by Mrs Macleod at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patricia-macleod has already far exceeded its £1,000 target, with over £2,500 raised so far, but every penny given will help make the lives of sick children brighter and their time in hospital more positive.
The pictures show Olivia at school, with her fellow pupils in the gym, and in hospital (Sgoil nan Loch/Macleod family).