Youngsters enjoying a forest school lesson at Robin House in Balloch were joined by an MSP who rolled up his sleeves to give the children a helping hand.

Brian Whittle, MSP for South Scotland, took part in the outdoor craft session at the children’s hospice which has a six acre garden.

The sessions allow children and young people who usually spend a lot of time indoors the chance to experience the natural world, enjoy new colours, smells and textures and improve their confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning.

Mr Whittle said the work done by Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) was important to so many families and he always a found it a pleasure to visit Robin House.

He added: “Spending time outdoors in nature is great for anyone’s physical and mental health and it was great fun to come along and take part in the forest school.

“CHAS are there for people during what can be one of the most challenging experiences of anyone’s life.”

During his visit, Mr Whittle also met newly appointed chief executive, Rami Okasha, to hear about CHAS’s work and to find out about its plans for Ardoch Estate in West Dunbartonshire which was recently donated to the charity.

Mr Okasha said: “Brian is a great advocate for CHAS and spoke very highly of our work at our ‘Keeping the Joy Alive’ parliamentary reception last year. It was a real pleasure to meet him today at Robin House to take part in our forest school lesson.”

Pic: Rami Okasha, CEO of CHAS, MSP Brian Whittle, and Eilidh Duncan, aged eight, who is supported by Robin House