Calums Cabin was inspired by a remarkable young boy, Calum Speirs. Calum passed away from an inoperable brain tumour on the 16th of February 2007.
His death inspired his parents Duncan and Caroline and his twin sister Jenna to start fundraising to fulfil Calum’s dream to offer family holidays to children like him on his beloved Isle of Bute. Read more about Calum’s story here.
The day after Calum’s service, the family visited a caravan that was for sale, at a cost of £20,000. In the adjoining field, there were cabins being built at a cost of £90,000. At what was the most difficult time imaginable, Calum had given his family something to hold on to. A dream to fulfil, and before they knew it, Calums Caravan would become Calums Cabin!
Calum was driving this from above, Duncan, Caroline and Jenna, knew this because so many doors were being opened for them.
From that day on the fundraising really took off, and with the incredible support from so many people, by June 2007, enough money had been raised to buy the cabin beside the caravan that they had looked at, however before doing so, Duncan, Caroline and Jenna met with Johnny Bute, (The Marquis of Bute) who agreed to lease the land at the Straad(St Ninians Bay), a beautiful coastal hamlet on Bute, for a peppercorn rent of £1 per annum. The one condition was that it must be a proper architecturally built cabin. This was a bump on the road, but in January 2008, Brian Stewart was appointed as architect and by April 2008 planning permission was granted, there were many more bumps in the road, however the Speirs Family received help from all over to make Calum’s dream a reality and on 12th February 2009 Jenna officially opened Calums Cabin.
Four days later, two years exactly since Calum passed away, Calums Cabin was welcoming its first family. Demand from families was so great that in November 2011, Calums Cabin Cottage was purchased and was opened in March 2012. The demand is such that Calums Cabin now rents additional holiday accommodation on Bute from The Mountstuart Trust and from Dumfries House, in Ayrshire, part of The Prince’s Foundation.
As the charity increased its fundraising activity and with support from so many people, in 2017 Calums Cabin was able to buy its first ‘Glasgow flat’ where families travelling from other parts of Scotland are given free accommodation while their child is receiving vital cancer treatment at Scotland’s main cancer treatment centres in Glasgow. At this time, Calums Cabin is now delighted to have a total of eight flats meaning the charity supports multiple families at once.
Calum always loved playing Monopoly, and in the years to come the aspiration is that the charity will continue to grow and have many more Calums cabins, cottages and flats to help families deal with the pain and stress, that a cancer diagnosis of a child brings.
Calums Cabin is a lasting memory of Calum and were it not for Calum paying the ultimate price and the determination of Duncan, Caroline and Jenna, Calums Cabin would not be here, helping the number of families it is today.