On Saturday 13 January we held our Winter Party at St Mary’s Marylebone London.
It was an incredible day which saw us welcome over 320 of the children and young people we support including their families and some of our colleagues from our NHS hospital partners. Due to the Covid pandemic, it was the first time we’d held a winter party since 2019.
Held over two floors, this very special family event was packed full of different stalls and activities for our VIP guests to enjoy, run by the Spread a Smile team and over 60 brilliant volunteers. There was something for everyone including gingerbread house making, a sweet stall, nail art, face painting, play doh, glitter tattoos, friendship bracelet making, teddy bear t-shirt and tote bag decorating, storytelling and pizza making.
“The Spread a Smile Winter Party was awesome. So many great activities for the kids to do and everyone volunteering was so kind. Hugo loved the play doh table and spent ages on the gingerbread house table too. Thank you so much for a fantastic day of treats and such a magical day. Hugo will be talking about this day for a long, long time.” Morgan, Hugo’s Mum
We were joined by All About Anna’s Animals who brought along some gorgeous animals to hold and learn more about. Our friends from the LEGO Group were on hand with a table full of LEGO® for everyone to get creative building and playing games and there was storytelling in the beautiful snow dome from The UK Dome Company. Guests also enjoyed fun on our bumper cars, a VR experience from Bryght Ltd, a Silent Disco thanks to Silent Event, fancy dress and keepsake photos from Polabooth UK, plus a truly slimy slime making experience with Slime Planet.
Our brilliant team of Spread a Smile entertainers joined us to fill the day with music, singing, dancing, bubbles, magic, poetry and much more.
We were treated to a very special interactive performance from Embracing Arts, who put on a fantastic interactive theatre show and our very own Anna from Frozen welcomed children to the stage for a dance and a sing-a-long. Plus our Therapy Dogs Thomas and Harry loved meeting guests.
To keep everyone going, we put on food and treats galore, including Sushi rolls from SushiDog, delicious pizzas from Pizza Pilgrims and yummy cupcakes from our friends at Lola’s Cupcakes and Brigit’s Bakery. We also made sure parents and carers were given a special self-care moment with hand massages, aromatherapy and a team of hairdressers.
We are extremely proud to deliver days such as this for the families we support and it was lovely to see so many of them relaxing and meeting the team and other families. We were also delighted to welcome our Ambassador Suzi Ruffell and our Trustees to share in the magic of this very special day.
We can’t thank our wonderful volunteers enough for giving up their time to make the day possible, plus all of our generous corporate supporters who donated supplies, food and drink. Thank you to our friends from BlackRock, Bregal Milestone, Brigit’s Bakery, Hasbro, C. Hoare & Co, the LEGO Group, LMAC Group, Lola’s Cupcakes, Opticore, Rotary Club, Sidekick Management and McVities, for their generous support of this event. In particular to Children with Cancer UK and the Children’s Welfare and Research Foundation whose support made the event possible.
Thank you to all of our friends, families and colleagues for joining us and making our Winter Party 2024 one to remember. Watch this space for details of our Summer Party.
To help ensure we can continue to spread smiles to seriously ill children and young people, please donate here. Thank you.
If you would like to find out about attending our family events in the future, please register for our services and sign up to receive our Family Newsletter here.
Photos Credit: Suzan Moore