Back at Great Ormond Street Hospital after 27 months

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Last week, we were overjoyed and admittedly a little bit emotional to return to Great Ormond Street Hospital for the first time since the pandemic started over two years ago. GOSH holds a special place in our hearts, being the first hospital that we worked with when Spread a Smile started nine years ago, so we couldn’t wait to be back on the wards with the children.

We returned with a whole host of new and familiar faces to entertain the children and their families. Mr Magic and Magic Louise added some enchantment to the visit, while fairy Ellie and fairy Becca brought their sparkle. On top of this, we had wonderful music from Sar and Rosie with their guitars, and our amazing singer, Collette.

To top it off, we also brought along our newest ambassador, Britain’s Got Talent winner and unbelievable magician, Richard Jones. This was only Richard’s second visit with us to Great Ormond Street, and his first since the pandemic began! It was so special to be able to bring him to the wards and meet the children we support.

Laura Walter, Director of Services at Spread a Smile, said: ‘We were able to visit the majority of the inpatient wards and were welcomed back joyfully by children, parents and staff. Seeing children’s faces light up during our in-person visits is a feeling we’ve greatly missed.’

Lizzie Penn, Senior Play Specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital said: ‘Everyone was so excited to see Spread a Smile back face to face, even though they have continued to support us virtually, seeing them in person made things feel normal again. One entertainer who has zoomed in every week said to hear the patient react was incredible as they can’t hear those subtle noises over zoom. All patients, families and staff were buzzing. Thank you so very much for continuing to support us, it means so much.’

Our flurry of in-person visits is set to continue this week as we will also be returning to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital for bucket loads more entertainment and smiles.