The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, better known to everyone as Yorkhill Hospital, marked over 100 years of service to children at its present address, and its imminent closure and move to a new location on the South side of the city, at a special service in Glasgow Cathedral.
It was a warm and intimate celebration of the work of staff, volunteers, fundraisers, as well as patients and families – as Dr. Whitley, the Minister of the Cathedral put it, the closing of one door and the opening of a new, glorious chapter in its work. The Yorkhill community was joined by representatives of the City Council and the Scottish and UK Parliaments.
There was a family feeling to the service, with the scripture reading by chaplain Jim Meighan, the sharing of memories of Yorkhill by Fr. Willie Slavin, another chaplain to the hospital, and a brief but inspirational talk by Young Ambassador Jenny Cook, a 13 year old long term patient who has raised over £50,000 for the hospital and is now aiming for £100,000. She had had the opportunity to see the new hospital building and thought the new roofgarden was great, as it gave the patients a chance to get outside, but, as she reminded people, it isn’t the building which makes the hospital but the staff and the children themselves.The music of the liturgy was supported by the St.Mungo Singers who also sang as the congregation were invited to write a commemorative/celebratory message for Yorkhill on cards provided to them. These messages will be put in a time capsule at the new building. Dr. Noel Donnelly played some meditative music on the harp, which sounded truly beautiful in the acoustics of the Cathedral. There was also a lively offering from the RSNO Junior Chorus.
At the end of the service, there was time for people to mingle and chat and catch up with friends and staff members as they enjoyed refreshments in the Cathedral nave, and looked at the colourful stall of the Yorkhill Children’s Charity.