Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity

We support Edinburgh children’s hospital & healthcare settings across East of Scotland

Our vision: Child first, patient second

As the only charity in the world solely dedicated to supporting NHS Lothian’s children’s services, we are privileged to provide help to more than 110,000 babies, children and young people every year; at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, in other hospital and healthcare settings across the Lothians, Borders and Fife and in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

No child or young person wants to be in hospital, but for those who have to be, ECHC is there to make the experience as positive as possible. We support children, young people and families with our daily activities, youth work, family support service, hardship funding, play programme, our hospital shop, and world class medical training, research and equipment.Our staff & volunteer team work together with supporters,  partners and NHS colleagues to transform every child’s hospital experience for the better.

Arts & Activities

Our innovative arts and activities programme, the only one of its kind in any of Scotland’s healthcare settings, delivers over 1000 exciting workshops each year at Edinburgh’s children’s hospital, as well as within community health settings including Queen Margaret Hospital and Musselburgh Care Centre.

We transform bedsides into art galleries and waiting areas into discos to bring fun, laughter and distraction when they are needed most. Whether it’s magic, music or messy play, our activities help children and young people to have a positive experience from the moment they begin their healthcare journey.

Family Support

We provide support for all ages, from babies to grandparents, through a range of activities and interventions including group work, and child, sibling, youth and parenting one to one referrals.

Youth Work

Our approach puts children and young people in charge. We work with the child or young person to identify any issues they are facing while in hospital; and agree and deliver a range of activities and interventions to support them.

We can help to provide entertainment and enjoyment for distraction to children and young people of any age, or we can take the time to listen and provide support to ease any worries or concerns.

We can do this in a safe space away from the clinical areas of the hospital, such as The Hub, at the bedside or in the adolescent spaces (12+) on Dalhousie Ward.

Youth Group

On Monday evenings, we run a Youth Group for  young people aged 12 and older who are known to the hospital. It is a great opportunity to relax, socialise and have fun, and new faces are always welcome!

If you would like to join the Youth Group or find out more, please do get in touch.

Youth work in A&E

Our partnership with 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café enables two youth workers to be based in the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) during peak incident times on Friday and Saturday nights to provide vital support to children and young people in crisis.

Funded by our charity and delivered by 6VT, this valuable and worthwhile service supports under 18s presenting with a range of emotional, physical and social needs, as well as follow up care for those who would like it.

The Hub

The Hub is a safe, non-clinical space within the hospital for children, young people and families to take a break or spend time together away from the wards.

Located in the ground floor Family Support Corridor (next to The Pod, our outpatients waiting area), The Hub is a space for playing, chatting, relaxing and having fun.

As with the Drop In Centre before it, our team are always there with a smile, a listening ear and a cup of tea (or hot chocolate!) on good days, bad days and everything else in between.

The Hub is packed with things to do, from arts and crafts, to video consoles and virtual reality; board games, toys and sensory play!

The space is designed therapeutically, and includes a kitchen, lounge, TV snug and play area.  There is also an outdoor courtyard and a complementary therapy room.

We work with children and young people of any age; and also with siblings, parents and extended families.

If you are staying at or visiting the hospital, we are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm. Due to Covid restrictions, we kindly request that you call ahead on extension 50367.

Sometimes we will need to limit numbers due to hospital guidelines on infection control, but we will do our best and utilise the versatility of our space to try and ensure that no one misses out. We can also provide support through our Youth Work facility.

How to get connected with Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity

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Phone Number:

0131 668 4949

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