McGill's Gets Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity to Schiehallion

9 months ago Mon 4th Sep 2023

Schiehallion ward mcgill's

After a four year absence, children from the Schiehallion ward at the children’s hospital in Glasgow returned to the Perthshire Munro that gave the ward its name.

On Saturday 2 September a determined group of children who have battled cancer made a symbolic return to Schiehallion, the renowned Scottish Munro, with Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

Accompanied by parents, siblings and NHS staff, the young patients gathered at the mountain to pay tribute to those cared for on the Schiehallion ward. The event was taking place for the first time since 2019 due to the Covid restrictions of the intervening years.

For some, it was an opportunity to reach the summit of the mountain and mark the next step in their cancer journey. Others remained at basecamp, where Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity ran a series of adventurous activities with the John Muir Trust including tree planting, marshmallow toasting over campfires, den building and storytelling.

For more than a quarter of a century the oncology ward at the children’s hospital in Glasgow has been known as Schiehallion. Hundreds of families have made the pilgrimage to the summit of the mountain over the course of the past 25 years, in recognition of the uphill battle faced by children with cancer.

Acknowledging the significance of the return to the mountain, Kirsten Watson, CEO, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said:

“The journey to the summit of Schiehallion is deeply poignant for our young cancer patients and their families. The opportunity to physically gather at the mountain gives us the chance to reflect on each child’s cancer journey, and to remember those who sadly cannot be with us. We’d like to thank the John Muir Trust for supporting this very special event once again, and McGill’s Bus Group, who generously provided free travel for our families to and from the mountain.”

“It was a privilege to play our part in helping these inspiring young people and their families on this important journey” said James Easdale, Chairman of McGill’s Bus Group. “As legacy partners, we understand just how much Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity does for seriously ill children. Our drivers were delighted to take the families to the foot of the mountain and home again after their day of adventure.”

“This has been an emotional and inspiring day for the patients, families, and the staff as we came together to conquer the mountain that our ward is so aptly named after. To be able to be with these children on a day like this when they have laughed, played, planted trees and been part of many other activities, which shows how far they have come, is phenomenal. We thank the charity for organising such as wonderful event and I look forward to hearing how the children and their families continue to inspire us as they take the next steps in their journey,” said Professor Brenda Gibson, Schiehallion Unit Consultant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“We hosted the event for five consecutive years before the pandemic stopped us” added the John Muir Trust’s Engagement Manager Hannah Shaw. “So we were absolutely delighted to be able to invite all the children and their families to join us again this year.”

Donate to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity to support children with cancer treated on the Schiehallion ward:  https://www.glasgowchildrenshospitalcharity.org/donate