Spread a Smile with Play Specialists

Celebrating Play Specialists

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Spread a Smile works with 25 hospital partners across the UK, supporting Play Specialist and paediatric care teams to bring joy to seriously ill children and young people in hospital.

As a thank you and in recognition of their amazing work, last month we welcomed 50 Play Specialists and other healthcare professionals to Riding House Cafe in Bloomsbury, London for a special get together.

The Spread a Smile team works closely every day with hospital play and care teams to try and make life a little bit easier for patients on the wards. Our days and visits are always busy, so it was fantastic to be able to bring people together outside of work to network, share experiences and celebrate the incredible work being carried out across our hospitals.

As Lizzie Penn, Senior Play Specialist from Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “I was delighted to join the amazing Spread a Smile team for the opportunity to meet colleagues and Play Specialsts doing similar jobs in other hospitals. It was great to find ourselves in a relaxed, social setting, able to talk face-to-face about our day-to-day experiences.

“We are genuinely grateful to Spread a Smile for adapting their services to meet the needs of our patients and always responding and supporting us in such a positive way. Last night really brought home how we are part of a brilliant wider team which brings joy to the young people, during some of the most challenging of times.”

A Play Specialist’s role in hospital is a vital one and we work closely with them to facilitate their aims. Through play we help children to achieve developmental goals, master and cope with anxieties and feelings and prepare for hospital procedures. We also provide immeasurable support and joy to families and siblings.

Thank you to all of the play and healthcare specialists we work with for everything they do to support seriously ill children. We are proud to work with you.