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Larry King Hairdressing at GOSH

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In July, Bobby, Katie, Katie and Elle from top London hair salon, Larry King, spent a day with us at Great Ormond Street Hospital. We wanted to give parents of the children we visit the chance to have their hair cut and styled as opportunities like this are scarce for parents of sick kids. The team visited lots of wards to offer the hair styling service, and styled 12 mums and dads during the day.

Josephine Segal, Spread a Smile’s co founder, accompanied the Larry King team on the day. She said, “It was wonderful to be able to give such deserving parents some time for themselves. It was truly great to be able to offer them just 20 minutes for their own self-care. One of the mums who we saw said that she almost forget she was still in hospital while she was having her hair cut, which truly meant the world to us.”

Bobby Collier, Larry King stylist, said, “We were all so pleased to be able to offer our time and skills to the parents that we saw at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Finding time for a haircut can be hard for anyone, but we were so moved hearing about the parents who don’t leave the hospital whilst their children are receiving treatment, some of whom had been there for months already. It was a very rewarding day and we’re looking forward to coming back for another visit.”

We even received a special thank you from play team at GOSH:

We will be arranging future visits with the Larry King team.


Joseph and the Amazing Theatre Trip

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On 3 July we took a group of 50 to see the brand new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium.

Our guests were treated to a pre-show party which included lunch and entertainment from our magicians, face painters and fairies. They then enjoyed the wonderful production of the show, with the all star cast including Jason Donovan as Pharoah and Sheridan Smith as the narrator.

After the show, we had a surprise meet and greet with the cast in the theatre.

One of our guests said, “It’s lovely to hear Remy so happy on a morning and that’s because of the lovely Spread a Smile team arranging such a super day out yesterday to the theatre for us as a family. We thoroughly had a great time and never thought for a minute that the cast were coming out…Just brilliant.”


With thanks to Encore Tickets, the London Palladium and Renata Boruch for photos.


NACH Form for Spread a Smile

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Spread a Smile’s Abseil

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On Sunday 16 June, 25 wonderful supporters took on the challenge of abseiling for Spread a Smile. Our first ever abseil was held at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.

Amongst those taking part was a team abseiling in memory of Nikhita Char, who sadly passed away last year. Her father, Prav, as well as family friends, made up the team. A team from our wonderful Corporate Supporter, Engage FS, also took part in memory of Luke Sawkins, who sadly passed away earlier this year. We’re so thankful to both teams for undertaking this challenge for us.

Our brave co-founder, Josephine Segal, also took part in the abseil. She said, “I was delighted to be able to join the abseil with Prav, honouring the memory of Nikhita. It was wonderful to see people honouring Luke’s memory as well. The abseil itself certainly was a challenge!”

If you’d like to take on a challenge to raise funds for us please email or call 020 7482 5191

With thanks to Renata Boruch for photos.

We now visit Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

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We’re delighted to announce that we have now added a new hospital to our schedule, with our first visit to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, bringing our total number of hospitals visited to 6.

We will visit the hospital twice a month; once with our team of entertainers and a second monthly pizza and magic visit.

The RNOH recently opened The Stanmore Building after a thirty year campaign to replace many of the old ward buildings that date from World War Two. The new children’s ward, Sir William Coxen, has facilities for up to 27 children. The ward looks after children with a range of orthopaedic related conditions, with children staying anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.  Many children who we see at University College Hospital who have osteosarcoma have already begun their treatment with surgery at the RNOH so we’re pleased we will be able to spread smiles throughout their treatment.

Prof Paul Fish, Director of Nursing at the RNOH said “Being in hospital can be a difficult experience for a young person. We’re delighted that Spread a Smile has agreed to work with us and to help us bring more laughter and joy to the children’s ward. Alongside our state of the art facility, our fantastic staff and Pepper the robot I’m sure that this excellent scheme will make our young patients stay in hospital as enjoyable as it can possibly be.”

During our first visit in June 2019, we entertained a range of children from 2–16 years old. Children were entertained with a fairy, singing, arts and crafts and balloon modelling (which the student nurses also enjoyed). We also delivered some of our Finn’s Fleeces blankets to keep the children warm at night.

Vanessa Crocker, Spread a Smile co-founder, said, “We’re delighted to add the RNOH to our current offering. It’s always wonderful to be able to spread smiles to more children and teenagers and to help alleviate the monotony of a hospital stay with our special range of entertainment including fairies, magicians, face painters, singers, arts and crafts and so much more.”


ICBC Standard Bank partnership

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We are thrilled to announce that ICBC Standard Bank has chosen us as their Charity Partner for the next three years.

Rob Threadgold, Global Head of IT Infrastructure, nominated Spread a Smile to be considered for Charity Partner. Rob said, “I have seen first-hand how Spread a Smile can have a remarkable impact on a family. My son spent four months in Great Ormond Street, lots of which was in isolation even from his own brother. When smiles were hard to come by, the team came in and made such an impact on Louis as well as our wider family. They truly are an amazing charity and I will forever be indebted to them for the love and support they showed us all.”

ICBC Standard Bank will be running a number of fundraising challenges and events over the next three years.

On Thursday 4th July, 120 team members from ICBC Standard Bank took park in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, a 5.6k run in Battersea Park to raise funds for Spread a Smile. They were joined by Amanda, our Head of Fundraising and Lucy, our CEO, on a very warm sunny evening. All participants contributed to a fundraising page, bringing in over £5,000 to help us spread more smiles

We are so thankful for ICBC Standard Bank’s support and are looking forward to working closely with them.

Abseil for Spread a Smile

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On Sunday 16 June, over 20 Spread a Smile supporters will be abseiling the ArcelorMittal Orbit for us. The Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK and is located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. The Spread a Smile abseil team will be descending 262 feet whilst taking in breathtaking views across London.

Amongst those taking part is a team honouring the memory of Nikhita Char. Nikhita sadly passed away last year and her father, Prav, as well as close family friends, will be taking part to fundraise for us. There will also be a team from our wonderful Corporate Supporter, Engage FS, who will be abseiling in memory of Luke Sawkins, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Josephine Segal, Spread a Smile’s co founder, will be joining the abseilers. “This felt like such a lovely opportunity to support Spread a Smile.” she said. “I’m always in awe of our supporters who undertake challenges and fundraise for Spread a Smile and so now it’s my turn to give it a try! I want to join everyone who is abseiling in memory of those that they’ve lost. Although I’m facing my fear of heights head on, I know that this will be a fabulous thing to do, and a great achievement once my feet are back on the ground!”

We still have a limited number of places available for the abseil on 16 June. If you’d like to take part sign up here or contact us on or call 020 7482 5191

Spread a Smile Fundraising Dinner 2019

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The Spread a Smile Fundraising Dinner was held on Wednesday 8 May 2019. Over 400 people were entertained by Spread a Smile’s wonderful magicians, and they heard about the work, achievements and ambitions of the charity. The fantastic Spread a Smile choir opened the evening with their debut performance. The choir is formed of current and former patients and their families and they gave a fantastic, heartwarming performance. Spread a Smile’s new film was also premiered, and magicians entertained guests at their tables.

Guests heard from Andrea, who spoke about how Spread a Smile helped her daughter, Keeva, following her cancer diagnosis. “Spread a Smile came along and they were so jolly and welcoming and lovely, it gave us the uplift that we needed….For Keeva, it was her one thing during the week that she looked forward to the most. Spread a Smile would come in and Keeva’s face lit up like a firework. It was like an explosion of joy for her to see something new and exciting.”

On the evening, Spread a Smile announced its plans for growth, which will be possible thanks to the generous donations made on the evening. By the end of the year, we plan to be making over 23 hospital visits a month in six hospitals (currently five), enabling us to spread smiles to 7,000 bedsides each year (a growth of a thousand extra children and teenagers).

Happy 6th Birthday to us!

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To celebrate our 6th birthday in April, we were hugely fortunate to have a very special visit to GOSH with Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, who spent time meeting and chatting to children and their families.

We also had some special entertainer visits at GOSH, St Mary’s and the Royal London hospitals where we gave out walking pet balloons. The children loved choosing their favourite balloon animal to be their new pet. There were purple elephants, cute dogs and magical unicorns brightening up the wards and bringing smiles to everyone’s faces. We also did a present drop to children at University College Hospital. We were also lucky enough to have a visit to GOSH by Eddie Redmayne who helped us spread even more smiles!

As the charity marks another anniversary, co-founders Josephine and Vanessa reflect on the last 6 years: “We are very proud of how Spread a Smile has grown. We have loved watching it develop and we are very grateful to our amazing team of wonderful entertainers that has made it possible.

“Six years ago, we started by making just 2 visits a month to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Now we make 21 visits a month to 5 different hospitals, and are able to entertain over 500 patients each month. We feel very privileged that we are in a position to entertain so many inspirational families.

“When we founded Spread a Smile, we didn’t realise how much the charity would be needed. We’re particularly pleased we’ve been able to respond to that need, and in ways we didn’t anticipate at the outset. 

“We’ve come to realise how important it is to include siblings in our entertainment, particularly by creating positive memories of VIP days out to the theatre and concerts that give the families something uplifting to talk about during a time dominated by hospital treatment. 

“We have also been able to provide special visits that have been requested by our hospital partners for specific occasions such as parties or for particularly ill children. Our hospital partners know and understand the difference we make and that we can be relied on when extra entertainment is needed.

“We are so proud to be part of the Spread a Smile team and so excited to see where it grows from here. Here’s to another six years!”

Thanks to Walking Pet Balloons for the brilliant balloons. And we wish to take this opportunity to thank all the dedicated staff we work with in our partnered hospitals; the fabulous volunteers who help with events; our talented entertainers who spread smiles; the amazing corporate partners who help us achieve so much more; the indefatigable office team; and, of course, all of you supporters and fundraisers without whom we couldn’t have got this far!

Clic Sergent Form for Spread a Smile

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