Spread a Smile today announces its latest hospital partner, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, based in South West London, which provides a full range of diagnostic services and treatment services. Their Paediatrics departments care for around 5,000 children and young people every year, including 2,000 inpatients. These patients, along with their families are invited to join the Spread a Smile family and benefit from their services.
Spread a Smile’s mission is to bring joy and laughter to as many seriously ill children as possible in NHS hospitals, clinical settings, hospices and homes across the UK. Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust joins 27 other major and speciality NHS hospitals and three hospice partners already supported by Spread a Smile, taking the charity one step closer to its aim.
The Spread a Smile team of talented entertainers, including musicians, artists, magicians and therapy dogs, will spend quality time with patients in hospital through one-to-one visits and group sessions. Patients and their families will also be able to access virtual online events and activity sessions via iPads, including art clubs, balloon modelling, music lessons and more, enabling the charity to see and support as many people as possible. All with the aim of spreading hundreds of smiles and a lot of happiness to children undergoing treatment for serious illness and their families.
Children at Kingston Hospital will be able to join special themed virtual activity days celebrating seasonal occasions such as Christmas, with a virtual Santa’s grotto, benefit from regular treat drops and entertainer visits scheduled throughout the year, all giving seriously ill children and their families the opportunity to join in with fun and exciting experiences that they may otherwise not have access to.
Julie Morris, Play Specialist, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said, “We are so excited to be working with Spread a Smile at Kingston Hospital. They are such an amazing charity and we are so happy to have them visit us on a monthly basis. The first visit, which took place in September, was truly magical and all the children and parents were so happy, and had so much fun! We had LEGO building activities, stories and a beautiful music session which was so calming and the children enjoyed requesting songs and singing along.
“The children and parents will benefit from the monthly visits, as it will really cheer them up and help them have a happy, positive experience in hospital, even in the toughest of times. Being in hospital for long periods of time can be so difficult for everyone, so the visits will make a huge difference to long term patients. Thank you so much Spread a Smile, you really do spread happiness!”
Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive added, “Spread a Smile’s aim is to bring joy and happiness into the lives of as many seriously ill children, young people and their families across the country as possible. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the brilliant team at Kingston Hospital to deliver entertainment, laughter and bring the Spread a Smile magic to patients, families and staff alike.”
To find out more about our working supporting hospitals and hospices across the country, please read on here.