Spread a Smile’s We Will Be There Campaign took place over 9-10 December and we were blown away by the phenomenal support it received. The aim was to raise £250,000 in a 36 hour online fundraising appeal, and, currently, the total stands at an incredible £346,787. The money raised will help us to continue our virtual and face to face services in 2021 as well as provide an fun-packed Christmas programme for seriously ill children in hospital.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of so many events and activities had severely impacted our income and this fundraiser has helped to make-up for the shortfall in funds.
We made a short film for the campaign all about Charlotte and told by her dad, Trevor. We’ve have been privileged to entertain Charlotte and her sister over the last seven years.
Life for a seriously ill child is always tough but never more so than at Christmas when families should be together. This year, many hospitalised children will be too unwell or too at risk to go home and will spend December confined to their hospital beds and restricted to just one visitor – making what should be the happiest time of the year unimaginably hard for them, their parents and siblings. Spread a Smile is one of the few charities increasing its presence in hospitals this December and we will be delivering much needed joy and spreading smiles to more than 4,500 serious ill children at Christmas plus hundreds more every month into 2021 and while lockdown restrictions remain in place.
Our Christmas campaign will fund an action packed programme of activity from mid-December including a virtual Santa’s Grotto, festive virtual visits with our wonderful entertainers, virtual art workshops, new video content on Smile TV (including the screening of a pantomime), entertainment on Christmas and New Year’s Day and the delivery of 1,450 presents to children in hospital and to those isolating at home.
Funds raised will also support our virtual entertainer visits and Smile TV in 2021 to seriously ill children under the care of our nine hospital and hospice partnerships. Launched in March 2020, this digital entertainment has been of invaluable support to children during lockdown, helping to distract them from pain and treatment, increasing their treatment compliancy and, most importantly, enabling them to remain connected to family life through positive shared interactions. Our virtual visits have also allowed us to extend the reach and impact to the most isolated and sick children, spreading joy at a time when parents believed that nothing could make their child smile.
There’s still time to donate to the campaign. If you’d like to make a donation please click here.