Tea room puts on spread at the Sick Kids

Helen Taylor, Findlay Headden and Sarah Chanter settle down for afternoon tea. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Helen Taylor, Findlay Headden and Sarah Chanter settle down for afternoon tea. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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Sometimes the only answer is a cup of tea – especially when life deals us a bitter blow.

At the Capital’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, where devastated parents often have to take in bad news, the kettle is always on.

But one city tea room did all it could to bring huge smiles to the faces of families when it stopped by Sciennes to lay on a mouth-watering afternoon tea.

Staff behind Eteaket, in Frederick Street, called in at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation Drop In Centre with an array of cakes, scones, sandwiches – and pots full of tea – for parents and patients to enjoy.

The company’s general manager, Sarah Chanter, said: “Nothing beats a proper cuppa. As a business we have been supported by everyone around us and it’s important we give something back and appreciate other local causes.”

Evening News readers helped raise £10,000 for the creation of the centre eight years ago. Facilities there include not only a kitchen and lounge, but activity and complimentary therapy rooms, used by around 300 visitors a month.

Maureen Harrison, chief executive of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “A lot of people, because they are admitted to hospital with a child who is desperately ill, do not find the centre straight away but once they do find it, it makes such a difference.

“Having afternoon tea is a real first – I think it’s lovely and just great for parents.”

Eteaket decided to put on the spread after setting up its Cuppas for Causes campaign, where it helps a different Edinburgh-based charity every month.

Wendy Campbell, 45, described the centre as a “godsend” after her daughter, Eve Ferguson, 10, a pupil at Craiglockhart Primary, was diagnosed with leukaemia. Eve has battled the disease twice and is currently in remission after a bone marrow transplant.

Speaking at the event, she said: “Eve has to come to the ward to get blood taken so we’re always in the centre twice a week. I love it. It’s a place to come to get a cup of tea because you are not allowed to drink it on the ward. We spend so much time in isolation so it’s nice to come down here and speak to other parents.”

Sick Kids support worker Findlay Headden said: “So much tea gets drunk here. It’s appropriate in almost any situation.”

The Sick Kids Friends Foundation rely on donations to keep the centre running. For more information about the centre visit www.sickkidsdrop-in.org.