A group of firefighters will use their aerial platform to raise a smile among young patients in hospital this Christmas.
Every year, patients at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital are treated to visits from firefighters, stars from Aberdeen Football Club and the cast of HM Theatre’s panto.
However, Covid regulations mean those visits have all had to be shelved this year.
Determined not to disappoint the youngsters however, the fire service has teamed up with The Archie Foundation for a very special visit on Saturday.
Firefighters will use their high-rise platform to reach the windows of the wards so they can interact with the young patients at a safe distance.
Matthew Cowe, watch commander at Central fire station, said: “For many years now, longer than I have been a firefighter, the fire service have made it their ambition to visit the children and staff at RACH over the Christmas period to deliver some gifts and engagement.
“I will always remember my first Christmas visit to the unit, particularly the joy and most beautiful smiles of the children that are going through the most challenging of times.
“The children and their families are delighted to see firefighters.
“For me, you look at the firefighters’ faces before, during and after the visit to the hospital and it’s a mixture of emotions.”
Jamie Smith, fundraising manager for the Archie Foundation, said he was sure the visit would go down well with the young patients on the ward.
“We are all excited to be involved and see smiles on faces of all involved,” he said.
“We have had to be continually creative with our fundraising and the support we provide, as 2020 has provided ever-changing circumstances for all of us.”
After visitor numbers were restricted to one per bedside, the Archie Foundation managed to continue sessions such as music therapy by taking them online.
The charity also distributed a much larger quantity of craft materials and toys to keep children occupied and installed two 16ft Christmas trees in the hospital’s reception area.