Spread a Smile fairies are a very special part of our team of Entertainers. Not only are they extremely talented, but they also bring a unique, magical quality which makes them so good at what they do.
We chatted to Fairy Ellie, Head of our Fairy School to find out what it takes to be a Spread a Smile fairy…
“We currently have around 12 fairies working within the Spread a Smile team of entertainers, all bringing something special to their work.
“The fairies joining our Fairy School already have beautiful singing voices, are skilled entertainers and have lots of experience working with children and young people. We also look for that little bit extra – enthusiasm, sensitivity, wonderful storytelling and the ability to immerse themselves and anyone they meet into their fairy world.
“A key part of Fairy School is to prepare our fairies for the specifics of working with (potentially vulnerable) young people in care settings. All of our entertainers undergo enhanced DBS checks and bespoke induction and safeguarding training. They must be able to understand and react to the needs of children of different age groups and abilities and adapt accordingly.
“We provide training as to the importance of language when talking to patients and their families and the protocols of working in hospitals – hygiene, etiquette, body language and how to keep themselves and the children they work with, safe and happy.
“Our fairies also undertake specific ‘fairy’ training, including shadowing other Spread a Smile fairies and entertainers on virtual and in person visits to see first-hand how things work and what is expected.
“Once a fairy graduates from Fairy School, they receive their own Fairy Book and survival kit containing lots of useful fairy things. Each fairy has their own fairy unform with unique touches of colour and personality which represents them and helps share their story and bring their own special touch of magic. We encourage our fairies to bring their fairy world and experiences to life and to wear their wings with pride.
“The children absolutely love visits from the fairies and usually want to know everything about them, whether they have any family or pets, where they live, what they eat and what it’s actually like to be a fairy. Fairies are often asked why they have straps on their wings and for those that don’t know, it’s to protect their wings as they fly through the clouds – particularly through the inclement British weather.
“The wider entertainer team is always on hand to answer any questions and support as need be. When going into hospitals, our fairies always work as part of a team, usually with another Spread a Smile entertainer e.g. Magician, balloon artist, singer, and supported by a Visit Manager who liaises with the Hospital and Specialist Play Teams. The role of a fairy is to bring the extra sparkle and help the children we support to escape into a magical world, hopefully forgetting illness, pain and treatment – even if it’s just for a moment.”
Fairy Betty, one of our most recent fairy graduates said:
“It is an absolute privilege to be part of the Spread a Smile team and to be able to bring some fairy magic to seriously ill children and young people. As a fairy, I believe that every child should be able to experience the joy and wonder that our world can bring. To be able to share this with families during some of their most difficult times is really special.”
If you are interested in joining our team of entertainers, please complete our online application form here.