Our history

Everyone has a 'Sick Kids' story - this is ours!

  • 1980 – Anaesthetist Dr Richard Burtles formally founds ‘The Friends of the Sick Kids’, starting with a fete in the hospital car park to fundraise for a new scanner.
  • 1984 – The ECHC Shop begins as a stall in the hospital reception. It has since moved location seven times, including a brief stint in a shed in the Sick Kids car park! Find out more about our hospital shop here.

  • 1991 – Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl from Nirvana play a benefit gig at Edinburgh’s The Southern Bar to raise funds for The Sick Kids. Listen to a recording here.

  • 1994 – The charity joins forces with the TASK Appeal – which raised over £10m to build new operating theatres and the hospital emergency department – and becomes the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

  • 2007 – For the first time, we award over £1million to fund life-changing equipment, projects and services at the Sick Kids and other children’s healthcare settings, including over £522k for a pioneering CT Scanner.

  • 2014 – We grant our largest ever award of £550k to fund a state-of-the-art Gamma Camera – the first of its kind for a children’s hospital in Scotland. The revolutionary scanner is instrumental in detecting life-threatening conditions like cancer and epilepsy.

  • 2016 – With the announcement the Sick Kids is to relocate to Little France and change its name, we take this positive opportunity to update our own – and so we become Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.

  • 2019 – We team up with Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and the ARCHIE Foundation for Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail – the first ever nationwide public art trail – raising over £1.2m for Scotland’s children’s hospitals.

  • 2021 – The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People opens in Edinburgh, for which we provide over £3.1m of funding towards the largest integrated Art and Therapeutic Design Programme in a children’s hospital setting anywhere in the UK. Find out more here.