Spread a Smile, the hospital entertainment charity, hosted over 300 young people, their siblings and family members at an extra special winter party on Sunday 5 November at the Marriott London Regents Park Hotel.
The annual event is for the children and teenagers who Spread a Smile have met during their visits to the four London hospitals they work in: Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and the Royal London Hospital.
The event is designed to cater for a child’s every party wish and there was lots going on to keep all ages and tastes entertained from the amazing Spread a Smile entertainers including fairies, singers, face-painters and magicians to Build-a-Bear workshops, Mad Science, carpool karaoke, lots of arts and crafts activities, nail art, a silent disco and treats from Lola’s cupcakes, Pan n’ Ice and our very own Lawsons Sweet Shop as well as visits from Cassie and Oscar, two of the pet therapy dogs who visit the hospitals and Chase from hit cartoon, Paw Patrol. We were also joined on the day by actor Christian Vit, who plays Dr Matteo Rossini in BBC’s Holby City.
Vanessa Crocker and Josephine Segal, charity co-founders, said “This party is designed to be a really special day out for the young people we meet during our visits, some of whom are in hospital for months. It is our absolute honour to organise this party for them and help take their mind off their condition, if only for a short time. It was wonderful to see inspiring families and children having fun together away from the hospital environment. We know that siblings are deeply affected by a family illness, so it is particularly important that we are able to include the whole family in our activities.”
We are incredibly grateful to Lawsons for sponsoring the party and for their ongoing support of Spread a Smile. As well as funding the party, they also built the Lawsons Sweet Shop on site, which was painted pink and white for the occasion. Paul Sexton, Managing Director at Lawsons said “It is always my pleasure and privilege to be associated with Spread a Smile and for Lawsons to support their amazing work. It was really humbling to see so many kids and their families who are going through such a hard time having fun at the party and I am so glad we were able to play a part in making it happen.”
Spread a Smile have one simple mission; to brighten the days of seriously ill children and teenagers. They do this by sending magicians, fairies, singers, face painters, poets, children’s entertainers, Pet Therapy dogs and children’s characters into four London hospitals: Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital and they entertain over 4,000 young people every year. They help to spread smiles and laughter at a time when these young people and their families need it the most.