A fund-raising book in aid of the Yorkhill Children's Foundation charity and partly compiled by young patients of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) is being officially launched this evening (Thursday).
The Idols of the World book was compiled by Strathclyde University students Marco Clemente, Martin Sharkey and Ross Mackay. It tells stories written by children from the RHSC and St Mary's Primary School in Hamilton, all of whom have chosen their personal idols. These range from an RHSC doctor through to the Loch Ness Monster!
One of the young patients who took part in the book was eleven-year-old Ellie, who nominated orthopaedic surgeon Roderick Duncan as her idol.Mr Duncan was chosen by Ellie as her idol after he carried out an operation on her at the hospital; she told the authors she wanted to be "just like" the surgeon when she grows up. Mr Duncan said: "It's a really nice thing for Ellie to say, and I'm very flattered. We do our best here for all of our patients and it's very gratifying to see we've obviously made a big impact on Ellie. I don't quite know what to make of being in the same company as Darth Vader and the Loch Ness Monster, though!".
The book came about as part of a project of the Students In Free Enterprise scheme (SIFE) at Strathclyde University. A four-strong team spent eight weeks in the hospital working with the youngsters, helping them tell their stories and celebrate their heroes.
Led by Marco, Martin and Ross, an eight-strong team has seen the scheme through from the very first idea in December 2005 through to tonight's launch at Borders Books in Buchanan Street. Marco came up with the idea after his younger sister was treated at the hospital: "Angela spent quite a bit of time in hospital after she was born three years ago, and the hospital seemed like a natural choice when we wanted to do a fund-raising project.
"We've had great fun compiling the book and it's been a real education to see who the children's heroes really are! We had a special team go into the hospital and speak to patients who were able to take part by telling us their stories. Some of them were able to draw pictures and it's all gone into making the book what it is. The three of us really hope it becomes a great success and we're hoping to raise at least £5,000."
Joan MacLeod, Fundraising Manager at Yorkhill Children's Foundation, said "We are extremely grateful to the SIFE team for all the work they have put into this project.Not only did the children have great fun working on the book but, with the proceeds, we will be able to provide the 'extra' services and equipment to help other children who come to Yorkhill for treatment.The book is fantastic and we hope the sales are too!"
The book has been sponsored by Fresh ‘N' Lo milk and is available nationwide for £4.99. All proceeds will be going to the Yorkhill Children's Foundation. More information can be found at www.idolsoftheworld.co.uk, where the book can also be bought.