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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Memories of Sick Kids Hospital Sought for Virtual Time Capsule

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LOCALS from Edinburgh and beyond are being asked to share their stories and photos of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, to be memorialised in a virtual time capsule before the hospital moves to its new home at Little France next year.

With the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People set to open in early 2021, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) has partnered with Virtronix to create a digital 360° walkthrough experience of the current building and is seeking memories and photographs to honour its legacy.

The Sciennes Road building opened in 1895 and has played an important role in the lives of so many people from Edinburgh and all across Scotland over the past 125 years. ECHC is inviting anyone who has worked at, used, visited or experienced the Sick Kids hospital to send in their remembrances and any pictures or videos to be included in the archive.

The digital walkthrough experience will be easily accessible online, as well as by using a VR headset, enabling people to virtually visit the old hospital building and take a trip down memory lane for many years to come.

Richard Jackson, Managing Director at Virtronix, developed the time capsule experience for the charity in loving memory of his late grandmother, Margaret Hamilton, who worked at the Sick Kids for over 30 years.

Memory submitted by Sick Kids staff member

Richard said:

“Nearly everybody who lives in Edinburgh will have visited the Sick Kids at some point in their lives and will have many different memories, stories and photos. This is exactly what we want to capture in the virtual time capsule.

Richard’s granny, Margaret (front row, second from left), with colleagues on the day of her retirement from the Sick Kids

“My granny joined the Sick Kids as a medical secretary for the Burns Unit in 1950 and worked there for 30 years until she retired in 1980. The day after retiring, she joined the Friends Foundation – now Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity – and volunteered with them until a couple of years before she died at the incredible age of 91 in 2012.

“One of her favourite memories was when she got to go up in a hot air balloon that was on the Meadows! When I visited Edinburgh, I would usually join her in the shop, so I grew up knowing the hospital and I’ve done many fundraisers myself over the years, including an abseil down the back wing of the building.

“When my family heard the hospital was moving, we were very excited but we also felt a bit nostalgic and sad for the old building so I wanted to memorialise it and give a little nod to all the people who have passed through its door over the years.”

Roslyn Neely, CEO of ECHC, said:

“We have supported the RHSC in one form or another since the 1960s and, during this time, we have met thousands of babies, children, young people and families whose lives have been transformed by its work.

“This is a historic time for the hospital as it gears up to move to its new home next year, so we are asking staff, patients, families and anyone who has spent time in the building to send us their stories, to help us digitally preserve the old building and keep its legacy alive.”

Please email all photos, videos, memories and stories to: hello@echcharity.org or call 0131 668 4949 for more information.

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