LONDON, 16 December 2010 — Children at The Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children can stop worrying about Santa finding them while they are away from home over Christmas. This week, with the help of video communications technology from Cisco, Santa is 'dropping in' to hospitals across the U.K. and Ireland to speak to children personally about what they want for Christmas this year.
Using Cisco® technology, young patients and their families can speak directly to Santa in the North Pole via a video link installed in the hospital. The children will be able to share their Christmas wishes with him, while Mrs Claus and Santa's elf helpers will be on hand in person to give gifts to the children.
"Being in hospital over Christmas can mean that children miss out on some of the exciting Christmas traditions, particularly visiting Santa Claus," said Elaine Eastman, play co-ordinator at Bristol Children's Hospital. "The Cisco Santa Connection brings Santa to the hospital, adding that all-important Christmas sparkle to the ward, putting a smile on all our faces, and helping to provide an enjoyable experience for the children and their family and friends."
Cisco's Santa Connection enables children who cannot leave hospital during the festive period to share in some of the Christmas spirit. Now in its fourth year in the U.K., the programme has also benefited children in the U.S., Canada and Germany over the last seven years.
"Of course Santa is very busy over Christmas, but using video technology means that he can make sure young patients get a well-deserved visit from him. The bravery of the children we meet, and the passion of those who look after them, continue to be a source of inspiration for us," said Jordi Ferrer, director of U.K. Service Providers and Media at Cisco.
"Cisco employees have contributed more than 200 presents online and in person, so that everyone can have a Christmas wish come true. John Lewis has also generously donated £400 worth of gifts."
Tags: Cisco, Santa Claus, Santa, Christmas, Hospitals, Charity, Children, Unified Communications, Santa Connection, Video Conferencing, Nottingham, Bristol
Video: Video conferencing at children's hospitals brings holiday cheer and Santa Claus closer to healing children nationwide through Cisco IP Communications:
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Note to editors:
Cisco's Santa Connection will be taking place at the following hospitals in the UK and Ireland:
- Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
- Glasgow Hospital for Sick Children
- Leeds Children's Hospital
- Newcastle Children's Hospital
- Nottingham Children's Hospital
- Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin
- University College Hospital, Galway