We hope that you managed to tune into the fabulous BBC Children in Need Live Appeal Show last night (15 November). We’re all so proud of the wonderful Spread a Smile Choir who performed as part of the Children in Need Choir. You can see a clip of their performance here.
We’re now in our fourth year of support from BBC Children in Need and we’re so grateful for their ongoing support, enabling us to visit and entertain even more children and teenagers who are seriously and terminally ill in hospital.
We were so pleased that the BBC Children in Need team decided to revisit the inspirational Moss family, following the airing of their film about Vanessa in the 2017 Appeal Show. Vanessa’s story captured the hearts of the nation and you can see that film here.
Spread a Smile first met Vanessa and her family when she was just four years old, soon after she started her treatment for neuroblastoma at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Vanessa loved her visits from Spread a Smile as they helped take her mind off her treatment. BBC Children in Need filmed Vanessa and her family, including sisters Ruby and Zoe, during the summer of 2017, highlighting how Spread a Smile entertained Vanessa and made a positive difference to her during her time in hospital. Vanessa tragically passed away in September 2017, and the Moss family courageously allowed her story to be aired just two months later.
This year, BBC Children in Need revisited the Moss family, interviewing Ruby and Zoe about Vanessa and about their involvement with the Spread a Smile Choir.
Anna, mum of Vanessa, Ruby and Zoe, now works with Spread a Smile. Anna said, “Vanessa loved singing, and Spread a Smile nurtured that passion. She wouldn’t have even discovered her love of singing if hadn’t been for Collette (our choir leader and singer) and others from Spread a Smile. What a wonderful way to honour Vanessa’s memory by setting up the choir – she would have absolutely loved the choir, and it brings so much comfort to Ruby and Zoe. But it goes beyond that – the children are establishing special bonds and ties – they’re so close, love getting together and are all there for each other. Vanessa would have loved every aspect of the choir – the singing, the friendship, the performance. What I love about Spread a Smile is that they don’t only think about the patients – they extend their offering to other family members including parents and siblings which has been so special for Ruby and Zoe.”
Our co-founders, Vanessa Crocker and Josephine Segal said: “Vanessa Moss was an incredibly special little girl. We first met her shortly after the charity was established and she made such an impact on our whole team. We are incredibly privileged to now have Anna working with us. She has become an integral part of the team and always goes above and beyond in her role with our supporters, who make our work possible day in and day out. Anna is able to give the whole team an invaluable insight into what life is like for parents of seriously ill children undergoing many years of treatment and is always coming up with innovative ways we can help both children and their parents and siblings who are facing long periods of time in hospital. We are so grateful to Anna for all that she does for Spread a Smile and we feel so fortunate to have her as part of the team. We also feel blessed to have Ruby and Zoe in our choir and have loved watching them take part and make meaningful friendships.”
To see this year’s film, featuring the Moss family, please click here.