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“There’s No Sunshine When You're Gone”

Roy and Cath Wheeler

Two stalwarts of the Children in Distress volunteer family have reluctantly been forced by ill health to retire from the charity’s mission of care.  Unsung heroes Roy and Cath Wheeler have always been at the very heart of the charity’s work caring for Europe’s forgotten children. Seeking neither recognition nor reward, this dynamic duo worked selflessly over 20  years for the children in our care. Cath was one of the pioneer carers who helped open St Laurence Hospice for infants and children with AIDS or battling HIV infection, returning time and time again to shower them with the tender loving care that changed lives or eased their passing. Back in Guisborough, she inspired, helped establish and run the Charity’s most successful thrift shop. An inspiration to all who know her, Cath, rising above the challenges of complex surgery and debilitating chemotherapy, had just recently agreed to share her expertise in the CID’s newly set-up Retail Advisory Group. 

Roy, Cath’s constant help and support, used a lifetime of sales expertise to help fund the charity’s work. He was the catalyst who brought about the return of the Charity’s successful Christmas Shoebox Appeal, using business acumen, friends, supporters and myriad contacts to ensure a successful decade of delivering the joy of Christmas to tens of thousands of delighted children across the Balkans.  Roy masterminded and co-ordinated volunteers, collections, warehousing, packing and the logistics of delivery of the gift boxes packed with love from donors here in the UK. He was a real “Father Christmas” to each and every needy child and senior citizen who benefited.  The rest of the year, Roy contributed to the success of CID’s thrift shops by sharing  stock, or  sourcing  wheelchairs, mobility aids or essential equipment and stock  to help those in need here in the UK and across Romania.

Over the last eighteen months, Roy has battled back from major bypass surgery but, now facing another operation, he has decided to step back and allow others to help take their work forward. The many friends they have made in CID’s family of support will miss them

Selfless as ever, Roy and Cath are appealing for a new generation of volunteers to help take the charity, its work, its thrift shops and especially CID’s Christmas Shoebox Appeal forward. If you have a few hours to spare to devote to a good cause - in particular by driving, collecting, sorting or packing shoebox gifts to ensure that children, young people and senior citizens have a little joy at Christmas - we would like to hear from you. Please call Alisdair Barron on 0141 559 5695 or email      

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