SFRS Family Support Trust unveils new Scottish respite cottage

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By Andrew Burns

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Family Support Trust today marked the official opening of its brand new national respite facility.

SFRS Chief Officer Martin Blunden conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally unveil the impressive new 'McMurray Cottage' in Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway.

The SFRS Family Support Trust – the official charity of Scotland's national fire and rescue service – purchased and refurbished the property in March 2018 following the generous donation from the estate of the late Miss Mora Georgina McMurray, from Ayr. It will complement the FST's existing facility in Myramar Del Sol in Spain.

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CO Blunden was welcomed to the launch event by Paul Stewart, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer and Chair of the Family Support Trust, alongside Deputy Chief Officer David McGown, Chair of the SFRS Board, Dr Kirsty Darwent, and a number of other guests to view the cottage and hear more about the incredible work of the FST.

“It is an honour to be here in Portpatrick formally mark the opening of this important and impressive new respite facility,” CO Blunden told guests.

“Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the late Miss Mora Georgina McMurray and her family. On behalf of everyone within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, we are very grateful.

“McMurray Cottage, located here in the picturesque village of Portpatrick, will now exist to provide invaluable support to fire service personnel and their families who are experiencing health and personal issues – or who may be otherwise unable to travel abroad to visit the Trust's facility in Spain.”

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The SFRS Family Support Trust was founded in 1923 offers charitable support to serving and retired fire service staff in Scotland, as well as bereaved families of colleagues who have died in service or in retirement.

DACO Stewart added: “It was a privilege to welcome so many guests and colleagues to Portpatrick for the formal opening of McMurray Cottage.

“I would also like to echo the words of Chief Officer Blunden in recognising the generous donation from the late Miss Mora Georgina McMurray, and the work of our dedicated staff, charity Trustees, the staff at Ayr Community Fire Station and all volunteers in making today possible.

“In the last year alone, the Family Support Trust has helped more than 800 colleagues and their families, and the purchase of this impressive property will enable us to offer further support and respite opportunities for our friends and colleagues.”

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