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· Japanese themed hi-tech and cultural ‘away-day’ extends National Curriculum studies for children at the Great Ormond Street Hospital School
· Demonstrates the benefits corporate sponsorship can provide in terms of equipment and monetary donations, time and ideas
· Ongoing support through contributions from sale of YO! Rolls at YO! Sushi restaurants across London this summer

London: July 3, 2003: NEC UK, a division of the Japanese electronics giant, NEC and leading restaurant chain, YO! Sushi, yesterday brought a taste of Japanese culture to the pupils at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) School.

The children, aged between five and 19, were able to see for themselves how ancient tradition and state-of-the-art technology has made Japan one of the most eclectic and culturally diverse countries in the world.

PaPeRo, the world’s first emotionally responsive robot developed by NEC, introduced the ‘Japan Day’, which included:

· Fully working biometric finger print and facial recognition tools, as used by immigration authorities in the Far East and the FBI in New York to track criminals

· Live video messaging via state-of-the-art 3G mobile phones

· A sushi master class, hosted by top chefs from YO! Sushi, culminating in a competition
prizes were awarded to the winning children on the day plus 50p from every plate of YO! Rolls sold during July an August, priced at £3, will be donated to GOSH

· Virtual visit to a Japanese home, along with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital School, demonstrating the differences between domestic life in the UK and Japan, part of the DfES ‘Videoconferencing in the classroom’ project

· Traditional arts and craft activities including origami, calligraphy and dressing up in Japanese costumes


Derek Ormond, Managing Director of NEC UK said, “Japan Day was born from NEC’s ‘Make a Difference’ programme, a global initiative introduced by NEC to encourage employees to give something back to the local communities in which they work. Because many of the employees at NEC UK are parents we decided to contribute some of our time and experience to children that can’t always enjoy the opportunities our families can.”

Derek continued: “The result was Japan Day, an initiative that has essentially brought the traditional ‘away day’ into the classroom and provided the opportunity for pupils in the school to learn, first hand about the lives of their contemporaries in Japan. There is no doubting that the children and staff at the school thoroughly enjoyed the day and we are now planning on making this an annual event.”

John Sosna, Head of Information Technology at Great Ormond Street Hospital School said, “Many of the children at Great Ormond Street spend long periods of time in the hospital and risk loosing contact with their friends and home schools. To avoid this, GOSH endeavours to maintain and develop as much normality and stability in the children’s lives as possible through education.

“Teachers at the school are committed to provide a broad, varied and stimulating educational experience for all children. The support of companies like NEC, in terms of equipment, monetary donations, time and ideas, ensures that the educational experience is greatly enhanced.”

For more information and photography, please contact:
Katharine Murray, NEC
+44 (0)20 8752 3341
katharine.murray@uk.neceur.com

Bronwyn Winley or Caroline Howlett
Nelson Bostock Communications
+44 (0)20 7229 4400
bronwyn.winley@nelsonbostock.com

For YO! Sushi, please contact:
Kate Lester, Roche Communications
+44 (0)20 7436 1111
kate@rochecom.com


Further details on NEC’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme
Japan Day is a demonstration of NEC’s commitment to its corporate responsibility programme and forms part of NEC’s ‘Make a Difference Day’ initiative. This is a global charitable campaign that the NEC group has embraced around the world since its 100th anniversary year, in 1999. The day aims to provide local communities with opportunities to further understand their local and international environments.

In addition NEC undertakes regular sporting sponsorships, working with the National Wheelchair Tennis Association of Great Britain, to promote the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Player Support Fund, and supporting Faldo Junior Series, which fosters talent in Young golfers.


About NEC (UK) Ltd
Founded in 1973, NEC UK is responsible for the marketing, sales, installation and service of a comprehensive range of NEC’s IT, communications and display technologies. With a proven track record in technical consultancy and multiple product streams, NEC UK can design, install and manage standalone and integrated solutions for corporate clients and their networks.

In mobile communications, NEC delivers the latest handsets (3G and 2.5G) and network infrastructure. For the business market, NEC supplies converged network solutions, physical and electronic security systems and advanced IT solutions, from server and storage hardware to e-business and supply chain management services.

NEC also offers a complete range of display products and managed services based on its latest display screens and projectors for the corporate, professional AV and home cinema markets.

Sample photography

NEC’s PaPeRo takes part in Japan Day
at Great Ormond Street Hospital School


Pupils at Great Ormond Street Hospital School try, but fail, to fool
NEC’s facial recognition technology during Japan Day


Pupils registered on the NEC NeoFace ‘criminals’ database during Japan Day at Great Ormond Street Hospital School




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