Four new NHS hospitals are working with a charity to help bring joy to ill children in hospitals across London.
Spread a Smile brings hope to seriously ill and hospitalised children across the capital through hospital visits, outings and art initiatives.
Barnet Hospital, Newham Hospital, Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital and Watford General Hospital have now joined the 21 other NHS partners including Great Ormond Street and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Since its founding in 2013, the charity has delivered entertainment and provided impactful support to 8,000 seriously ill children and their families across the UK.
Their chief executive Lucy Jackson said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting four new hospital partners where we can bring smiles and laughter to hundreds more seriously ill children and young people.
“We will work closely with all of the hospitals to ensure our therapeutic entertainment programme is tailored to the needs of each hospital site and each young person we visit.”
Entertainers from the charity will make monthly in-person visits to each of the hospitals and patients will also be invited to join regular virtual visits and school holiday activities including plenty of upcoming Christmas events.
Nurses and play specialists at the hospitals will also be able to request bespoke visits for children who are seriously unwell, allowing Spread a Smile to make a difference when a child and their family need it most.
Watford General Hospital ward play specialist, Helen Cripps, said: “Spread a Smile has already had a huge impact on the Starfish Ward.
“The entertainers cheer up all our patients and their families too. They are rays of sunshine! The positivity really does rub off on all the patients they meet. We love the visits and look forward to them very much.”
Last month, many people took part in fundraising activities for the charity, including the Three Peaks Challenge, raising £9,600 and the Royal Parks Half Marathon, raising £11,000.
To donate, get involved or find out more visit the Spread a Smile website.
Featured image credit: Spread a Smile