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Community / Charity brings gaming joy to youngsters at Gilbert Bain

A CHARITY which delivers games and consoles to patients in healthcare settings has levelled up the experience for children at the Gilbert Bain Hospital with the donation of two new Nintendo Switches.

Get-Well Gamers was founded by Lerwick man James Stewart in 2014 to keep patients entertained during their stay in hospital, and since then it has extended out of the UK and into Canada.

James with student nurse Alice Miller who accepted the donation on behalf of the Gilbert Bain Hospital. Photo: NHS Shetland

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Get-Well Gamers has delivered around five consoles and 62 games to hospitals in 2021, with the Gilbert Bain donation marking the most northerly donation of the year so far.

Software engineer and cafe owner James, who donated the items in person on Friday (23 July), said:

“It’s great to come home and be able to loop Gilbert Bain into the Get-Well Gamers network, which stretches as far south as Penzance.

“Besides all the joy and distraction that video gaming brings to youngsters in hospitals, there is a weight of scientific evidence that highlights the many social and medical benefits for gaming in hospitals.

“Children with access to gaming call on the nurse less often, can better manage their pain and anxiety, and socialise more with other patients.

“I am sure the Switches will be very well used and will make a big difference. We’re already looking forward to another donation in the near future.”

Child health manager Clare Stiles said: “We are delighted with the donation from Get-Well Gamers and know these consoles and games will make a big difference for young people during hospital stays. It was also great to be able to meet James and thank him in person for the donation.”