‘Let’s put smiles on as many faces as possible’

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today we launch our Christmas appeal with a combination of the traditional and a modern twist.

Over the coming weeks we will be encouraging you to support the work of the Sick Kids – and spread some festive fun.

Not a year goes by when we don’t ask you to dig deep to help those less fortunate than ourselves. And in a sense this year will be no different.

We hope together to raise some vital funds which will help the Sick Kids Friends Foundation to improve the lot of youngsters with serious sight problems.

Our other aim is to spread some good cheer around the city.

It has been a tough year for many, and most of us are having to tighten our belts at Christmas as much as any other time.

There is certainly no shortage of reasons to feel gloomy.

But by sending our Santa’s Grotto around Edinburgh we hope to put smiles on as many faces as possible. If you can, please join us, and join in the fun.

Every child visiting the grotto will meet Santa and collect a small gift.

There is no entry charge. All we ask in return is that you donate whatever you can to the Sick Kids.

And you can help us to put festive smiles on even more young faces.

If you can add another gift to your shopping list – even something small – for a child facing Christmas in hospital, we will arrange for Santa to deliver it.

There are full details on pages eight and nine of how you can take part.

We know, because you often tell us, just how much you value the work of the Sick Kids.

Please help to keep making life as comfortable, and fun, as possible for its young patients.

And we hope you enjoy supporting this year’s appeal just as much as the youngsters will enjoy the results of your generosity.

Recipe for success

It’s great news that the popular Howies restaurant brand will live on – and fitting that its founder David Howie Scott is the one who has stepped in to ensure its survival.

It is very appropriate for a business started in a recession more than 20 years ago that it should get a new lease of life at this stage.

After expanding across the Capital and into Aberdeen, the city-born chain had like many other businesses struggled in recent times, before slipping into administration.

The new/old owners are promising to return Howies to its rightful place at the top of the culinary tree and we wish them all the best.