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Trinny Woodall, makeover queen and fashion style expert on ITV’s This Morning, surprised three mums of children we have entertained in hospital with a makeover on the show on Tuesday. Helen, mum of Libby, Andrea, mum of Keeva, and Lisa, mum of Louie, were all given the glam treatment to make them feel extra special.

Trinny said, “Mums are always the ones giving their all and it’s lovely just to give them a great moment today.” Philip Schofield added about Spread a Smile,“It’s an incredible charity – I visited the hospital with them a little while ago.”

Trinny surprised our mums at breakfast – they thought they were going for a spa day, and were blown away when the cameras showed up! They were taken to the television studio where Trinny styled them, trying them out in different outfits, before deciding together on their favourites. They were then given the full works, with fabulous make up and hair, so they all looked a million dollars.

The big reveal was shown live on air, when they walked down the This Morning catwalk to meet Philip Schofield and Rylan. Each lovely lady had a chat with the hosts and one more surprise: a video message from each of their kids, which couldn’t fail to bring a tear to your eye.

We met Helen’s daughter, 8 year-old Libby, while she was treated for Osteosarcoma at University College Hospital (UCLH). We visited Libby with our brilliant entertainers in hospital and also took her and her family to see a variety of shows including a Strictly Come Dancing evening where she got to meet the stars of the show. We are also very grateful to Libby’s family who were the driving force behind a group of 6 dads and 3 children who ran the Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday.

Libby said in her video message, My mum deserves a special treat because she’s been by my side the whole year and helped me understand some things I didn’t understand and made me safe and comfortable. I love you Mummy. I hope you had a great day.” Helen told Philip, “The charity do exactly what it says in the name – they bring a smile when you most need it, and, boy, have we most needed it this last year!”

11 year-old Louie, Lisa’s son, was diagnosed in January last year with a brain tumour. We met him at UCLH where he loved seeing our magicians and cuddling our therapy dogs. Louie said in his special recorded message for the programme, “I think my mum Lisa deserves a treat because she has helped me through a lot and she’s always there for me when I need her.”

Keeva, Andrea’s 7 year-old daughter, was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer 4 years ago. We entertained Keeva while at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Keeva said, “I love it when Spread a Smile visits. I love Mr. Magic as he always makes me laugh and I love the fairies as they always give the best glitter tattoos!” Mum Andrea said, “It’s so lovely from a parent’s point of view seeing your child smile, especially when they’re going through such a horrific time.”

Keeva’s message to her mum said,“Hi Mummy, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are amazing. I love you so much. Enjoy your special day. Love Keeva.” Her other daughters, Sorcha, Roisin and Ailbhe also added a message: “We love you to the moon and back.”

Thank you so much to Trinny Woodall, Trinny London and This Morning for making all this possible, and for giving our lovely mums such a gorgeous treat!

We are also delighted to have been chosen as charity of the year for the sought after makeup brand, Trinny London.

Meet Oliver

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Oliver was born with Chronic Kidney Disease in August 2009, and had to live for the first 7 years with a feeding tube, managing the disease with regular monitoring and medication. In April 2017, it was decided a kidney transplant couldn’t be put off any longer, and his mum Jane donated one of her kidneys to him.

Mum Jane told us, “No one tells you how stressful it will be after the transplant. You’re working towards it as your goal, but the body takes such a long time to recuperate afterwards. The first year after was really tough.”  This is when we met Oliver. Six months after the operation, Oliver was really low. He was missing out on parties and school, and feeling sad. Mum Jane talked to a nurse at GOSH and she told her how Spread a Smile might be able to help.

We took Oliver and his family to see Aladdin in September 2017. It was the first outing they had been able to have as a whole family. Before the transplant Oliver’s feeding tube had meant it was very difficult to organise anything around his feeds, which happened five times a day, every three hours. Then after the operation they were struggling to get back on their feet again with so much time in hospital, and both Jane and Oliver recovering from the surgery. Oliver’s sister Lottie was also affected as inevitably there was less time to spend with her, and she frequently had to be looked after by the wider family.

Jane said, “The trip to Aladdin came at such a crucial time for Oliver, as he was feeling so low. We had so much fun! You don’t expect treats – the whole experience of pizza, magicians and balloons. It was like a party! It was also amazing to meet the cast after too – us adults got particularly excited about that! The kids are now spoiled for the theatre – they think there should always be pizza and a party!”

We asked Oliver about the experience and he said it made him feel “really alive”.

We also invited the whole family to last year’s end of year Party. Jane described it as “The best thing I’d ever been to. The generosity of everyone was overwhelming. Lottie and I had our hair curled, which was such a treat. The quality of the party blew our minds!”

Oliver told us, “I loved playing with all the Interactive games – especially the VR experience. The party was really fun – I felt really special!”

Masthaven – Charity of the Year

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We are excited to announce that Masthaven Bank has chosen Spread a Smile as its Charity of the Year for 2019. 

One of the founding tenets of Masthaven’s philosophy is people – to treat people as individuals and a desire to impact people positively. A philosophy that resonates with Spread a Smile’s ethos and makes them the perfect partner.

The team at Masthaven will take part in challenges and fundraise for Spread a Smile and are busy spreading the word to their partners in the banking sector. Their introductions have already led to Spread a Smile being chosen as a beneficiary of a Sector Awards show in July 2019. 

We are very grateful for Masthaven’s support and are looking forward to working with them this year.

Engage FS – Charity of the Year

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We are proud to have been chosen as Charity of the Year by Engage FS, an independent financial planning firm based in London.

We were nominated by Michelle Frost at Engage after she heard Spread a Smile Co-founder Josephine Segal speak at her sons’ school. Josephine told the event at Wolfson Hillel Primary School about the charity’s work in London hospitals. Hearing that as a small charity every penny raised really makes a difference to us and helps us to spread even more smiles to seriously ill children, Michelle knew Spread a Smile deserved Engage’s support.

She said, ‘Throughout the year we try to do different things to raise money for our chosen charities. One thing we will be doing is making a donation for each of our clients on their birthdays as well as other events throughout the year.’

Fortheir previous charity partner Sam Sloma, Managing Director, ran a marathon and this year he has decided to dust off his running shoes and take part in another challenge for Spread a Smile. We can’t wait to cheer him on! 

We are grateful for Engage FS’s kind support and we can’t wait to get fundraising with them.

Christie’s – Charity of the Year

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We are delighted to have been chosen as Christie’s London’s Charity Partner for 2019. 

Founded in 1766, Christie’s has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries.

The auction house will organise a series of internal events, including quizzes, a Christmas fair and a staff art show all in aid of Spread a Smile. Christie’s staff are also going to support the charity by sharing their skills and expertise in pro-bono assistance and volunteering.

We were nominated by Sandra who works for Christie’s. We entertain Sandra’s 7-year-old son, Paolo, who has been receiving treatment for cancer at GOSH and St Mary’s Hospital for several years. Paolo, who is pictured below, had a visit recently from Ian, one of our brilliant magicians. Sandra sent us this photo, and told us “Paolo loved the magician”. Thank you so much to Sandra for being instrumental in our being chosen as Christie’s Charity of the Year. 

Thank you to Christie’s for your generous support. We are looking forward to working with you this year.

Pop-up & Shop

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Join us on Wednesday 20 March to pop-up and shop some amazing brands all in aid of Spread a Smile. The inaugural pop-up and shop, organised by Claudia Salem, takes place at Chandos House, 2 Queen Anne Street, London W1G 9LQ, from 9.30am – 4.30pm.  

You can shop from amazing brands including beachwear from Solly the Dolly, coming to the UK especially for our pop-up, jewellery from Joubi Jewellery, stylish sportswear from Ana Heart, gorgeous and unique clothing from Jessica Russell Flint, homewares from Casa Carta, handbags from Meli Melo, skincare designed especially for girls and boys by Spots and Stripes, gorgeous beach towels from Hamamingo and lots more.  

You can also join our wellbeing workshop from 11.30am to hear a talk from Yalda of Eat Burn Sleep. Tired of Kale and Spirulina? Yalda’s approach is simple, easy, science-based and yields results. Feel heathier, improve your IBS, lose weight, have glowing skin without feeling deprived. Join us to hear how to achieve this and more. Tickets to Yalda’s talk are £50 per head and bookable here and all proceeds will be donated to Spread a Smile. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Entry to the pop up is free. 20-25% of proceeds from sales at the pop-up and shop will be donated to Spread a Smile.


Claudia & Alesha Spread Smiles

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The lovely Claudia Winkleman spread smiles with us at Great Ormond Street Hospital last month while Alesha Dixon surprised patients and staff at University College Hospital.

Visits from well-known celebrities bring smiles to our young patients, brighten their day, help distract from their treatment and give them serious bragging rights with their friends.

Miles for smiles

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Miles for smiles

We have two incredible challenges for you this year.

ArcelorMittal Orbit Abseil

Join Team Spread a Smile on the morning of Sunday 16 June 2019 for the UK’s highest freefall abseil experience from the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s tallest sculpture, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. Descend the 262 feet while taking in breath-taking views of London and raising funds for us at the same time.

You will travel in the lift to the very top of the structure to get a hawk’s eye view of the park below and to look out over the rest of London. From here you’ll be able to pick out The Shard, BT Tower, The Gherkin, Big Ben, Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena – the views stretch up to 20 miles on a clear day. Then, you will head out to the open-air platform to begin your descent. 

The registration fee is £30 and the minimum donation or sponsorship £300. You must be over 14 to participate. 

Royal Parks Half Marathon

In 2018, 17 runners took on an incredible challenge in aid of Spread a Smile. You can follow in their footsteps by snapping up one of the remaining places for the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2019 on Sunday 13 October. Join 16,000 runners for this 13.1 mile race, taking in world famous London landmarks. Register for your place or email amanda@spreadasmile.org for more information. 

The registration fee is £30 and minimum donation or sponsorship is £370.

Spreading Smiles with Trinny London

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We are incredibly excited to announce a brand new partnership with sought after makeup brand Trinny London. 

Trinny Woodall, world renowned fashion and make up expert, is the brains behind the makeup brand and she jumped at the chance to help us to spread more smiles. 

To kick-off our exciting partnership, Trinny London is launching two brand new FreshFlush LIP2CHEEKS, called Mama and Katja, in time for Mother’s Day and is generously donating 10% of sales from both LIP2CHEEK colours to Spread a Smile. Look out for our logo on the products, which can be bought from Fenwick in Bond Street, Brent Cross, Newcastle and trinnylondon.com

Trinny said: “We are thrilled to be able to support Spread a Smile, which is a phenomenally good cause. Our LIP2CHEEKS accentuate a smile so this seemed the perfect way to support this wonderful charity. I hope that, through the sale of Mama and Katja, we can help to spread more smiles and laughter to seriously ill children in hospital.”

In the run up to Mother’s Day and beyond, Trinny will be posting news about her partnership with us in her own inimitable, fantastic style so do check out her Instagram @trinnylondon 

Alexandra Shulman in conversation with Gaby Roslin

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Alexandra Shulman in conversation with Gaby Roslin

On Monday 14th January, former editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, was in conversation with TV presenter and host Gaby Roslin chatting about her time at the helm of the iconic fashion magazine and all in aid of Spread a Smile.

An audience of 70+ joined us at Century Club in Soho as Alexandra described her 25 years in charge of Britain’s leading fashion magazine.

We are so grateful to Alexandra Shulman and Gaby Roslin for so generously giving up their time and to the Century Club for providing a fabulous venue for the evening. Please keep an eye out for our next “in conversation with” event.