Pipers in tune with a great cause for hospital’s children

Haddington pipers entertained the kids
Haddington pipers entertained the kids
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A PIPE band which is dedicating its time to entertaining kids in hospital at Christmas has officially launched a living advent calendar at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC).

Haddington Pipe Band has been revealed as the first surprise behind Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity’s (ECHC) advent calendar which will come to life every day until Christmas Eve as part of the Big Christmas Door Appeal.

The Haddington band performed tunes such as Scotland the Brave and Highland Cathedral for the children outside the main entrance of the RHSC, kicking off a three week spectacle to entertain the youngsters as they recover from often life-threatening conditions.

The band is led by Fraser Wilkinson, 25, who has been playing with Haddington Pipe Band since he was 10 years old.

He said: “It was great to see kids and the community sing and hum along to our tunes – it was a fantastic way to start the month.

“We’re keen to do anything we can to help the kids, parents, nurses or doctors get into the festive spirit.

“Haddington Pipe Band is also a charity and we like to do what we can to help others out.”

Some of the entertainment behind the calendar doors that the children have in store are visits from the Edinburgh rugby squad, Hearts and Hibs football teams and the Scottish Ballet troupe in their Cinderella costumes.

ECHC is encouraging local businesses to get behind the campaign and contribute towards the living advent calendar to make it as special a Christmas as possible for the children.

Amy Ford, corporate fundraiser at ECHC, said: “Christmas is a special time for children and young people, and being in hospital shouldn’t mean that they miss out.

“That’s why we’re doing all we can to make the hospital an exciting place to be this Christmas so those receiving treatment there can be child first and patient second.”

She added: “There are many ways to get involved and support our vital work this Christmas and we’d love to welcome businesses and individuals to help out.”

From bucket collections at Christmas events to volunteering for supermarket bag packs and sponsored cycles, walks or runs, there are many things you can do to ensure that children looked after by the RHSC don’t miss out on Christmas.

Haddington Pipe Band is involved in the promotion of piping and drumming all over Scotland and plays at scores of events – many for charity – each year.

ECHC believes that nothing should get in the way of being a child and exist to transform the experiences of children and young people who find themselves in hospital.

The charity works to make sure that children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness and distributes around £1.5 million per year in support of its aims.