Celebrating Spread a Smile’s 11th birthday at GOSH

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On Thursday 11 April Spread a Smile celebrated our 11th birthday with a very special event in the Lagoon Canteen at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

We were joined by nearly 100 people including inpatients, outpatients, family members and hospital staff for fun art activities run by our artist Abi, entertainment from Mr Magic, poetry from Judge the poet and a little bit of fairy magic from Fairy Jude. Our Co-Founder Josephine and her therapy dog Buddy also joined us to help spread even more smiles. There was also a quieter space for one-to-one chats and colouring.

It was a wonderful morning and a chance for us to engage with so many people in the hospital where our work began 11 years ago.  To add to the celebrations, our friends from Lola’s Cupcakes also provided some delicious cupcakes for us to share with our guests. We were also joined by two lovely volunteers from our partners, Corinthia London.

Laura Walter, Spread a Smile’s Director of Services said, “It felt incredibly special to be at Great Ormond Street Hospital to celebrate our birthday with patients, families and staff alike. We feel honoured to continue our wonderful partnership with GOSH and to have the opportunity to be there for children under their care and support the amazing hospital teams.”

Spread a Smile’s partnership with GOSH dates back to when Josephine Segal and Vanessa Crocker founded Spread a Smile 11 years ago.

In 2013, Josephine’s young nephew, Aaron, was receiving treatment at GOSH. After noticing that Aaron was becoming increasingly withdrawn, she arranged for a magician to visit. It had the most remarkable effect: Aaron’s spirits were lifted and his treatment became more bearable.

As a result, Aaron asked if magicians could also visit friends that he’d met on the ward and Josephine promised Aaron she would find a way to make it happen. Josephine teamed up with friend and former colleague Vanessa Crocker and working closely with GOSH, they founded Spread a Smile.

Since then, the Spread a Smile has continued to work closely with the team at GOSH to spread smiles to their patients, providing regular in person entertainer visits, online sessions, treat drops and much more.

Today we are proud to visit the hospital twice a week and every other week on a Monday, providing support across all inpatient wards including the three paediatric intensive care units at the hospital: Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU), Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) and Cardiac Intensive Care (CICU) as well as other wards such as oncology day care, outpatients and pre-op.

To find out more about our work supporting hospitals such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, please click here. Please donate to help us ensure we can continue to be there when it’s needed most. Thank you.