IT is the place where a virus on your computer is more serious than a lost e-mail or the internet crashing.
The Sick Kids hospital has to ensure all equipment is clean and infection-free, meaning traditional computer keyboards are a potential hazard.
But Gogarburn-based charity Trefoil has come to the rescue by donating thousands of pounds’ worth of anti-bacterial laptops in time for Christmas.
The 16 laptops are provided with special covers so they can be wiped down between uses, and were donated along with three iPads.
The gifts will be used with hospital teachers so that youngsters can keep up with their schoolwork while in hospital. They will also give children the opportunity to keep in touch with friends and family and pass the time in hospital.
The computers, worth £12,900, were presented to patients with the help of author Ian Rankin, a supporter of the charity’s work, who said: “I was aware of the good work Trefoil does and was happy to be able to lend my support to their Laptops for Sick Kids project.”
Chief executive of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation Maureen Harrison said the gift would make a huge difference to youngsters, who can use them to access the safe intranet system provided by the charity, known as KIDSnet: “These laptops will form part of a very special upgrade to our existing KIDSnet system which will be completed in the next few weeks. It’s a great early present for Christmas and we are very grateful to Trefoil for this gift.”
Trefoil originally grew out of the Girl Guiding movement, with a project to evacuate disabled children during the Second World War, and developed to provide a series of residential homes and schools, and latterly a holiday adventure centre at Trefoil House, Gogarbank. The centre closed in 2002 and was then leased to the city council as an old people’s home for five years. The proceeds of that time were invested in a fund which now covers the charity’s staff and administrative costs, and many of their charitable donations.
The charity now continues to help young people with special needs via grants and support for other charities, targeted at areas where no other funding is available.
Chief Executive David McArthur said: “The ethos of Trefoil has changed as a charity, many people know us for residential care programmes but we now concentrate on funding projects where no conventional funding is available, and we are delighted to fill that gap with laptops for children attending the hospital.”
Mr McArthur visited the Sick Kids to help hand the computers over, and said he was delighted to have been able to help them: “It normalises, as far as you can, their situation within the hospital environment.”