Texas star Sharleen Spiteri shocked staff, patients and families at a children's hospice after she paid them a surprise visit.

The famed lead singer dropped into Robin House in Balloch to support the Christmas fundraising appeal and lend a hand in putting up some decorations.

Sharleen, who is a long-time supporter of the charity Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) which runs Robin House, met with families staying at the hospice and gave her backing to the charity's ‘Christmas Memories Appeal’ which launched earlier this month.

The musician - who grew up near the hospice - explained she knows first-hand the difference the charity makes to the children and families who rely on its support.

Glasgow Times: Sharleen and her sister pictured with families staying in Robin HouseSharleen and her sister pictured with families staying in Robin House (Image: Chris Watt Photography)

She said: “Coming to Robin House and meeting all these incredible kids and families really makes you feel so lifted. They have so much strength and there is so much love here.

“Some of the families I spoke to told me they were reluctant to come to the hospice at first because it felt like the end when really it’s almost like another beginning because the support CHAS gives them makes such a positive impact.

"Staff here give families a chance to enjoy time together and make so many precious memories.

“I love children and having grown up not far from Robin House, CHAS has always been a charity I feel really close to and am proud to support.”

One of the parents who was especially excited to meet Sharleen was Gez Hastings from Stirling whose six-year-old son, Austin, is supported by Robin House.

Gerald went to see Texas at a small intimate gig in Glasgow earlier this year and when the band took questions from the audience, he spoke to Sharleen about CHAS.

Gez said: “I was at the show in Glasgow which had a Q&A session and I spoke to Sharleen about Robin House and asked if she would ever be able to visit. She said she would love to and told the audience all about CHAS and the work they do to support families like mine.

“Austin and I were bowled over to finally meet her face to face and really pleased she kept her promise to come to Robin House and spend time with children and staff. It was incredibly kind of her.”

Sharleen added: “I remember meeting Gez at our show and chatting to him about his son and CHAS.

“It was lovely to see him again and meet gorgeous wee Austin. He thanked me for keeping my promise and told me more about Austin’s condition and the support CHAS gives his family.”

The ‘Christmas Memories Appeal’ is the biggest fundraising appeal CHAS has ever launched following a 25 per cent increase in the need for specialist family support provision.

Glasgow Times: Sharleen with a Christmas card made by children in Robin HouseSharleen with a Christmas card made by children in Robin House (Image: Chris Watt Photography)

The important campaign aims to give families across Scotland the gift of time this Christmas to make precious memories and ensure no one has to ever face the death of their child alone.

CHAS needs to raise over £12m over the coming year to enable the charity to continue to deliver hospice and palliative care for children.

Iain McAndrew, director of income generation and engagement, fundraising and communications at CHAS, said: “The breadth of support we offer simply would not be possible without our generous supporters who give love and strength to those in the greatest need and we hope that this Christmas people will consider donating what they can to our festive appeal to help us ensure that no-one has to face the death of their child alone.”

To donate to CHAS’ 2023 ‘Christmas Memories Appeal’ please visit: www.chas.org.uk/appeal