A LEADING children’s hospital charity is trying to get the message out there that kids in hospital don’t need more chocolate at Christmas time – and is offering an alternative this December.
Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) receives a great number of sweet donations every year from members of the public who want to treat children across Edinburgh and surrounding healthcare settings.
But when lots of people have the same idea, and each can donate enough to supply every bed in the hospital, the charity ends up with more chocolate than they know what to do with.
Early chocolate gifting this year has already given the charity plenty to keep the Royal Hospital for Sick Children full to the brim and now the charity is asking for monetary donations instead.
Sue Diamond, Community Fundraiser at ECHC, said: “The gesture is so sweet and it’s lovely that the public think about children in hospital over Christmas – that’s exactly what we want to encourage.
“But the reality of the situation is that we just get so much chocolate that it ends up going off or going to waste.
“If the equivalent monetary value was donated to the charity each year, we’d be able to do so much more and put in place experiences, equipment and entertainment that would really last.”
So in a bid to get real coins as opposed to chocolate ones this festive season, ECHC have introduced their selection box with a difference.
The selection box offers the public the chance to donate something that will have a real impact and help relieve stress and worry for seriously ill children and their families this Christmas.
The box features different options designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families, allowing donators to fund items such as a vibrating Buzzy Bee that disrupts nerve pathways and eases pain for children receiving injections.
Sue Diamond added: “What we’re trying to put across with the Selection Box is that we can simply do so much more with financial donations than we can with chocolate.
“Even small amounts of money all add up and can go towards providing fantastic pieces of medical equipment that will transform treatment and stock playrooms throughout the hospital with games, books and arts and crafts that provide a therapeutic distraction.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who gives to ECHC and hope that this Christmas the public can help us make a real difference.”
ECHC believe that nothing should get in the way of being a child and exist to transform the experiences of children and young people in hospital, so they can be a child first and a patient second.
The charity works to make sure that children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness. It distributes around £1.5 million per year in support of the work of the RHSC and other children’s healthcare settings across Scotland.
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