NACH Form for Spread a Smilehttps://spreadasmile.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/icbc-photo.jpg 600 450 mattd mattd https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/854e268b6cbf4d6f0c2f99bb0d75cced?s=96&d=mm&r=g
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.”
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.
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!”
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).
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!
We’re so excited to reveal Trinny London’s video to launch their new FRESH FLUSH limited edition lip and cheek marvel in Mama & Katja. The video features five Spread a Smile children and their gorgeous mums in a special Mother’s Day shoot, ‘Why I love you’.
Malika & Zaina, Shinee & Rowena, Lydia & Suzanne, Craig & Lisa, and Jade & Michelle, all adored being part of something so special. They had their hair and clothes styled by professional stylists, and the ladies were made up with Trinny London products. They all looked and said they felt a million dollars!
The day was a heart-warming tribute to the bond between the mums and their children as they shared their messages of love, which you can see in the film. This Mother’s Day we want to send a shout out to all the brave and inspirational mothers we meet.
FRESH FLUSH pots are enriched with sunflower and daikon seed oil to leave a healthy radiant sheen to the skin, and saturate the lips and cheeks with a glimmering finish. Limited Edition shades ‘Mama’ & ‘Katja’ are universally flattering shades, as they are neither too warm nor too cool. ‘Mama’ is a sheer red with a flex of sparkle, and ‘Katja’ is a sun-kissed plum shade.
Trinny London are generously donating 10% of all proceeds from FRESH FLUSH to us. We are so excited and grateful to be part of this wonderful collaboration and to be Trinny London’s charity of choice. Available at www.trinnylondon.com
Thanks to hair stylist Adam Embleton from Josh Wood Colour and the brilliant make-up artists and stylists from Trinny London for working your magic on our families, and to the Trinny London team for taking care of them so well on the day.
On Wednesday 20th March we benefited from the inaugural Pop-up & Shop event. It was the brainchild of the indefatigable Claudia Salem, who organised, curated and masterminded this fabulous event on our behalf.
Located in the beautiful setting of Chandos House, an elegant Georgian town house in Marylebone, it was the ultimate shopping pop-up experience. A coffee cart greeted shoppers as they arrived, and Press gave out delicious Turmeric shots inside.
There were 22 stalls selling everything from beachwear and candles, to luxury jewellery and kids’ clothes. A big thank you to all the brands who donated 20-25% of their proceeds to Spread a Smile, raising over £4,000.
There was also an insightful Wellness talk given by Yalda Alaoui of Eat Burn Sleep. She addressed a group of over 50 guests about inflammation and how diet can influence health. Her talk was very well received and we are so grateful to Yalda who donated all proceeds from ticket sales to us, raising an amazing £2,750.
Raffle tickets were also sold on the day by the Spread a Smile team with the assistance of the lovely Lielle, Mia and Sadie, aged 9, whose energies persuading guests to part with their cash were invaluable! Between raffle tickets and the sale of donated toys, a further £3,000 was raised.
The atmosphere on the day was vibrant and buzzing, and we were overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity that made it such an unqualified success. Thank you so much to Claudia for producing such a wonderful event for us and for all those who came along and supported on the day! It is certainly going to help us spread so many more smiles.
Photos credit: Belle Imaging