About Us

What? Why? Children in Hospital was founded in February 2015 by Marit Boot. There is now a team of enthusiastic trustees of the board who support and provide governance to the work of the organisation. What? Why? Children in Hospital is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) with charity number SC045436.

Dr Marit Boot, Founder

Marit has seen parents and children struggle to take in information when they are in a stressful and emotional situation in hospital. Marit founded What? Why? Children in Hospital as she thinks it is essential to offer children and parents visual information to prepare them for hospital. Marit leads the development of the charity, oversees fundraising and directs the film projects. She previously worked in the NHS as Programme Manager for the Visual Impairment Network for Children and Young People (VINCYP), Network for Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs (CEN) and as Efficiency Programme Manager in the finance department in NHS Lothian. Marit has extensive experience in research, audit and evaluation of services. She also worked for the Scottish Government and the Medical Research Council and she holds a PhD degree in Medical Biology from Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Claire Edwards, Chair

Claire joined as a trustee because she believes that parents and families need information that is relevant to them and which acknowledges the emotional impact of what they are going through. Like Marit, she has direct experience personally and professionally of the hospital environment. As Training Manager and Director of SNIP (now Kindred) at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh (2000–2008) and then as consultant for the Network for Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs (2010–2014) she has extensive experience of working with parents. Claire is a qualified counsellor, trainer and consultant, working with a variety of clients in the public and voluntary sectors. From 2005–2010 she was a trustee then chair of the Care Co-ordination Network UK (CCNUK) and has been a member of both Scottish Government and Local Authority advisory groups.

Lianne Swadel, Treasurer

Lianne joined the board of trustees as she thinks videos are an excellent way of preparing children for hospital. As a parent herself she has seen the importance of staying calm and positive when your child needs hospital care. Lianne is a qualified chartered management accountant. She started her career in the private sector, where she worked for 8 years. She then took up a role in the finance department in NHS Lothian and has worked there for the last 13 years in a number of different roles. Lianne is part of the NHS women in leadership roles network. Lianne has completed the independent examination of accounts for a number of charities. She also has experience as a trustee and treasurer of the Pregnancy and Parents Centre. Lianne has been running half marathons to raise money for the Pregnancy and Parents Centre and the What? Why? Children in Hospital charity.

Eloise Leeson, Secretary and Marketing Advisor

Eloise Leeson is a communications specialist, who is passionate about enabling better conversations and encouraging open dialogue. The work of WWCIH is both powerful and necessary, offering children and adults alike a route to a better hospital experience. Eloise joined the board as a trustee to support this important work from a marketing and communications perspective, and is excited about spreading the word about what WWCIH do.

Órla Duncan, Clinical Advisor

Órla has worked as a children’s nurse for many years and currently works in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh as a psychosocial nurse practitioner, with children who have appearance differences. She joined the board to bring clinical expertise and experience of working in the healthcare sector. She first worked with Dr Marit Boot during the production of an information video for children and their families. She has seen first-hand the difficulties that families face when trying to absorb important information during hospital consultations. She has at all stages during her career held an interest in visual information and in the past produced photograph albums and leaflets to help prepare children for procedures. Órla has worked extensively as a volunteer in the third sector and is proud to be a trustee of the What? Why? Children in Hospital charity. She has seen the positive impact the information videos are having on children, young people and their families and is looking forward to the charity working hard to produce many more.

Shona Moyes, Project Manager

Shona is Project Manager for the charity. Shona is very aware of the importance of preparing children for hospital procedures due to her experiences as a mother of a disabled child with learning difficulties, who spent a lot of time in hospital during his early years. As her son now has severe anxiety about going to hospital even for routine appointments and procedures she feels passionately about there being help and support for other children and families who have to deal with hospital visits. Shona previously worked in the contract drug research industry and managed global clinical trial packaging and distribution projects on behalf of pharmaceutical companies. Shona also contributes her time voluntarily working in a hydrotherapy pool supporting children and young adults whilst receiving their therapy and provides peer support mentoring to other carers on behalf of the charity VOCAL.