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Mildreds’ macarons help spread smiles

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Looking for a tasty treat which gives back during October? Then look no further than Mildreds and their sister restaurant Mallow.

To celebrate World Smile Day on 6 October, Mildreds have created a special trio of macrons with all profits from sales of this delicious treat being donated to the charity during October.

Each macaron has a different flavour which represents the Spread a Smile colours: sour cherry jam for pink, chocolate orange ganache for orange, and vanilla bean buttercream for blue. And, are as delicious as they look!

Mildreds and Mallow are a group of plant-based restaurants with venues in Camden, Covent Garden, Soho, Kings Cross, Dalston (Mildreds) and Borough Market and Canary Wharf (Mallow).

They have been supporting Spread a Smile for over a year, welcoming some of the families we support for regular afternoon teas at their restaurant in Covent Garden.

Sam Anstey, Managing Director at Mildreds said, “We are so proud to be working with such a special charity so close to our hearts. Spread a Smile do amazing work and all our teams are so pleased to be able to support them. It has been great to be involved and to experience the impact that Spread a Smile have in helping others.”

Alongside the macarons, Mildreds will also be fundraising for Spread a Smile by adding an optional £1 onto guest bills across their restaurants from 1- 14 October.

Vanessa Crocker Spread a Smile Co-founder said, “Mildreds have been a wonderfully supportive partner over the past year, helping to provide moments of respite and relaxation through their afternoon teas for some of the families we support. We’re excited to see their plans for October and World Smile Day and are so grateful to all of the team for their continued support and enthusiasm.”

Please do show your support for Mildreds during October and help us raise as much as possible to ensure we can continue to spread smiles to seriously ill children and young people when they need it most.

Find your nearest Mildreds and Mallow restaurants here.

Teeing off in memory of Louie Hibberd

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For the last few years, the Hibberd family has generously supported Spread a Smile by organising a Golf Day in memory of their son Louie, who sadly lost his life to a brain tumour three years ago.

Spread a Smile supported Louie and his family whilst he was receiving treatment and it was the family’s aim to create a day that would act as a lasting tribute to Louie, bringing together family and friends and helping to keep Louie’s memory alive.

Stuart Hibberd, Louie’s Dad said, “We wanted to support Spread a Smile as it’s not a huge charity and yet it does such important work. We wanted to give something back and really make a difference to children in hospital, hopefully helping to make other families’ lives a bit more manageable during some of the most difficult times.”

This year’s Golf Day was an incredible event, bringing together 100 keen golfers for a fun and relaxed day of golf. One of Spread a Smile’s magicians was on hand on the course to spread some smiles and bring a little bit of extra fun to proceedings.

An amazing £11,408 was raised for Spread a Smile’s work bringing joy to seriously ill children in hospital, with additional donations going to the Paul Linger Foundation and the Golf Club’s charity.

Josephine Segal, Spread a Smile Co-founder and Trustee said, “It means a huge amount to me and everyone at Spread a Smile that we were able to support Louie and his family during Louie’s illness and that we remain part of each other’s families to this day. Even in the face of such a huge loss and heartache, the Hibberd family has created such a special tribute to Louie through their annual Golf Day. It is a very special celebration of his life and we feel so honoured that they have kept us close to their hearts, helping to ensure we can share our smiles with other families going through similar things. Thank you to Louie’s Dad Stuart, Mum Lisa, sisters Ella and Evie and everyone involved for being such an incredible part of the Spread a Smile family.”

A huge thank you to the Hibberd family for their support, kindness and commitment and everyone who supported this wonderful event in Louie’s memory.

Please do get in touch with the team at if you are interested in supporting our work. Thank you.



Cycling miles for Spread a Smile – The Big 100

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Sometimes our supporters really do go the extra mile for Spread a Smile.

Carter Schwartz is a leading executive search boutique and more than familiar with overcoming challenging situations. So when it comes to encouraging a massive group of keen cyclists to join in their annual cycle ride, it was a breeze. This year the Carter Schwartz team relaunched the cycle ride as The Big 100 bringing participants from across healthcare and social care to ride either 100km or 100 miles through The Chilterns. They partnered with Spread A Smile to raise an incredible £15,434 to support our work bringing joy and laughter to seriously ill children, young people and their families.

Carter Schwart’s Founder and Managing Partner, Adam Carter said, “a record breaking cycle challenge – 47 riders, our largest group yet, raising an enormous £15K plus for the amazing Spread A Smile…Fantastic generosity in these pressing of times. I’m so proud of my team for going the extra mile, our amazing sponsors who supported this amazing day and of course all the riders who gave it their all.”

Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive said, “The team at Carter Schwartz has been an inspiration to us at Spread a Smile over the last few months, working tirelessly to organise a fantastic fundraising event to support our work. We’re so grateful to everyone involved, including all of the riders and sponsors for their effort and commitment and for helping to raise such an incredible amount of money which will make such a difference to so many seriously ill children and their families. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” 

Carter Schwartz was introduced to the charity at our Gala Dinner earlier this year through long-term supporters, Downing, who also were also headline sponsors for this brilliant fundraising event.

Downing’s Head of Development Capital and Partner, Mark Gross said, “Downing and The Downing Foundation are proud to be headline sponsor of The Big 100 cycle ride. A huge thank you to Carter Schwartz for organising the event; bringing professionals together from across the healthcare industry and raising money and awareness for the wonderful healthcare charity Spread a Smile.”

Check out this short film from the event. The Big 100 – Cycle Challenge September 2023. – YouTube

Thank you to the event sponsors: Downing, Bracebridge, Bevan Brihan, Hazlewoods, Sensecheck, JEM Property, Shawbrook, Precious, Colliers, DC Advisory and Connell Consulting.

Spread a Smile Golf Days a huge success

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Last week we celebrated our 3rd annual Golf Days at the stunning Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, welcoming an amazing 36 teams of four-balls across two days of golf.

The sun shone as the teams took on the 18-hole Palmerston Course, with Spread a Smile entertainers dotted around the course to cheer everyone on. Our magicians wowed our golfers with a little bit of magic, Judge the Poet was on hand with a bit of spontaneous poetry and our musicians Collette and Andy sang and played, making everyone smile with their personalised dedications.

Once the score sheets were in, guests enjoyed a lovely three course meal in the club house, followed by prize giving and a raffle, with Spread a Smile Chief Executive Lucy Jackson sharing a little bit about how our golfers will help to make a huge difference to the families we support.

Neil Taylor, Managing Director at Opticore IT said, “The organisation of the Spread a Smile Golf Day is always exceptional and the cause itself surpasses everything; it resonates with every person that attends. Having so many people in one place having a great time with a shared intention of making a difference is great see, it continues to bring people back year after year.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our teams for joining us and for helping to raise vital funds to spread smiles to the seriously ill children we support.

Also, to Opticore IT for sponsoring the water bottles, Elaine and Andrew Jaye for sponsoring the raffle, Activit Drinks for their generous donation of 200 cans of Tropical Boost Sparkling Water and Olly’s for kindly donating pretzels and olives for the golfers to enjoy on the course.

Please do get in touch with Rosie at if you would like to find out more about joining our 2024 Golf Days and our exciting sponsorship opportunities.

Introducing our Real Estate Committee

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We are proud to announce the launch of our new Real Estate Committee, created to explore new avenues to help us raise funds and awareness for the children and families we support.

The Real Estate Committee is a first for Spread a Smile. Chaired by Shaun Simons, Founder of Compton, the Committee brings together key industry figures; Richard Fine and Dan Uzan, Brotherton, alongside James Lass, Swiss Life Asset Managers, Michael Mirelman, GRE Finance and Chris Davies, CEO, Uncommon.

Prior to the unveiling of the Committee, Compton has already hosted two very well-attended dinners at their restaurant, with a guestlist from the real estate world. The dinner was a brilliant networking opportunity raising important funds to support Spread a Smile’s work, providing in-hospital and virtual entertainment for critically ill children and their families. The idea for the dinners was conceived following a meeting between Lucy Jackson, the charity’s Chief Executive and Shaun Simons, Founder of Compton, who specialise in commercial office leasing & investment.

Collectively the group will create opportunities to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity, via a programme of intimate events and industry dinners, at which guests will learn all about the crucial support that Spread a Smile provides.

Shaun Simons said of his role, “I was blown away when I first learned of the work that Spread a Smile does.  They are an amazingly unique charity and the support they provide really resonated with me from the very first introduction.  My son, who is now 10, was born 4 months premature and together with my wife, we spent over 5 months in various hospitals whilst he received urgent care. Having had significant exposure to many children’s wards I can really understand the importance of the service Spread a Smile provides.

“I have worked in the property industry for 23 years, it’s an amazingly social industry filled with great people. I have formed a strong and widespread network and along with my fellow committee members, I’m confident we can help raise the profile of the charity. I’m sure we will have amazing support from the property industry, a sector that currently knows very little about what the charity provides and the joy they can bring to those struggling. 

Shaun added, “I simply could not refuse the Chair position and I’m really flattered to be asked, and am eager to get stuck in, personally and professionally.  The wider Compton team will also work closely with the Committee, and will be supporting our plans across the Compton brand platforms to further spotlight the incredibly important work Spread a Smile do.”

Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile’s Chief Executive said “I’m so looking forward to working with Shaun and the rest of the committee. I’m incredibly grateful to all of them for giving up their time and making important introductions to support our work and raise funds and awareness. This will enable Spread a Smile to continue to deliver our work and support new hospitals, spreading smiles to seriously ill children and their families when they need it the most.”

The Committee’s 2023 programme will deliver two events; invite only dinners with engaging speakers and entertainment. The ambition is to bolster this with more events, plus open them out further inviting members from within the wider property community to get involved, all in an attempt to further raise the Spread a Smile charity.

To find out more about the Committee or how your company could get involved with supporting Spread a Smile, please email Lucy Keith at Read more about our Real Estate Committee members here.

The Happy Hoodie Company

Smile Hoodie spreads smiles

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Every child, teenager and family member we support becomes part of the Spread a Smile family and we are proud to bring a little joy during one of the most difficult times of their lives.

We’ve been supporting Kaiden and his family since September 2022 after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and earlier this year, we were so grateful when Kaiden’s Mum Kathryn got in touch to sign up for our fundraising abseil to help raise vital funds to ensure we can continue our support for children like Kaiden.

“As a parent, Spread a Smile means the world. Kaiden can’t go to school or see his friends and not being able to go anywhere is tough for him. But through their online sessions, Kaiden has made friends. He chats to people, engages with them, laughs and can just be Kaiden again. It’s lovely to see and I don’t know what we’d do without them. That’s why we wanted to give something back. To show how much they mean to us and to help make sure they can be there for other families like ours.” Kathryn, Kaiden’s Mum

Kathryn, along with husband Simon and Kaiden’s Uncle all took on our the abseil from the ArcelorMittal Orbit, raising over £1,500 to help spread smiles to seriously ill children and their families. And the family’s support and commitment to Spread a Smile hasn’t stopped there as they recently launched a new range of hoodies with donations from sales pledged to Spread a Smile and the charity ‘It’s Never You’.

Kathryn said, “The Happy Hoodie Company is proud to introduce its exclusive charity hoodies, designed to raise funds for two incredible organisations that have been a lifeline to me, Kaiden, and our family during our toughest times.

The Happy Hoodie Company“With a shared commitment to spreading happiness, The Happy Hoodie Company will donate £5 from the sale of their Peppermint and Pink Cowl Smile Hoodie to Spread a Smile. This hoodie symbolises the joy and positivity that Spread a Smile brings to the lives of children facing serious illnesses. We hope that our customers and supporters will show their solidarity by buying one of the hoodies and joining The Happy Hoodie Company in making a lasting impact on the lives of those in need.”

The Spread a Smile ‘Smile Hoodie’ is on sale now and you can snap one up here.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to The Happy Hoodie Company, Kathryn, Kaiden and the whole family for their wonderful support. It really does mean the world to us.

You can read more about Kaiden and why your support is so important here.

Royal Parks Half Marathon

Royal Parks Half Marathon

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Join Team Smile for the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 8 October 2023.

This incredible half marathon takes in some of the capital’s world-famous landmarks, on closed roads and within four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

Although undulating in parts, the course is not hilly and is great for both experienced or first time half marathon runners. The added bonus is that you will take in some of the capital’s most historic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade and the Royal Albert Hall, on the way round.

Please contact Rimi at to grab one of our charity places or if you’ve managed to secure your own place from the race organisers and would like to join our team.

Event date: Sunday 8 October 2023

Minimum fundraising: £450

ArcelorMittal Abseil

ArcelorMittal Orbit Abseil

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Join Spread a Smile as we take over the UK’s tallest sculpture for an abseil from the ArcelorMittal Orbit, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London.

Abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit will be an experience you will never forget as you will experience the most spectacular views of London, whilst dangling in free space, 80 metres above the ground!

You’ll also help to raise vital funds for our work supporting seriously ill children and young people in hospital.

Please contact Rimi at for more information and to sign up today!

Event date: Saturday 17th June 2023

Minimum fundraising: £300

Spread a Smile Smile Hampers 2022

Christmas roundup

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Christmas is always a busy time of year for Spread a Smile because it’s a time when the families we support need us most.
For children and young people battling serious or terminal illness, Christmas can mean time spent in hospital, undergoing treatment and separated from family and friends. It can mean time feeling very very unwell and unable to go out and do the Christmassy things that we associate with the season.
So we make it our mission to bring the magic of Christmas and as much joy and laughter to the children we support and their families. In total, more than 4,500 children will be reached through our Christmas activities and thanks to the generous support of our donors and volunteers, here’s how we’ve done it…
We’ve sent out 700 personalised Smile Hampers containing a total of 5,600 gifts across the UK for children and their siblings. Take a look at our ‘Smile Hamper’ film here.
218 volunteers gave up 763 hours of their time to help pack the gifts and each Hamper was full of gifts kindly donated by our wonderful supporters and hand picked with each child in mind.
The Hampers were delivered by our Entertainers door-to-door thanks to 17 brilliant volunteer taxi drivers who transported us safely between destinations.
We are reaching and supporting all 27 of our partner hospitals through our Christmas activities this year. A whopping 3,500 gifts have been delivered to our hospitals for children on the wards to receive for Christmas.

Spread a Smile Christmas Grotto

Our Entertainers once again joined Santa at the North Pole for our virtual Christmas grotto and over 400 children met Santa online over 10 days. For those children stuck in hospital or bed bound this made a massive difference and will provide lasting joyful memories for the whole family.


We’re running a variety of individual and virtual group sessions in the lead up to and around Christmas to continue to provide joy and distraction during the festive period. Some of our Entertainers will also be visiting Hospitals in person on Christmas Day!
If you would like to help spread some Christmas cheer, please support our Christmas Appeal by making a donation.
Just £25 could help pay for a child to meet Santa in our virtual grotto and receive a special gift. Donate Now

Spread a Smile is proud to deliver all of the above to support our families and hospital partners. However none of it would be possible without our brilliant donors and volunteers. So thank you to…

  • Those who donated financially to support our Christmas activities
  • Those who sent a gift for our Smile Hampers and hospital deliveries
  • All of the amazing companies who donated larger numbers of gifts: Aurora World, Barry M, BlackRock, Casetify UK, Cheatwell Games, Derwent Art, Ginger Fox UK, Hasbro, Hunter Price International, Insurance Claims Accomodation Bureau (ICAB), Lush, Men Kind, OTL Technologies, Rainbow Designs Ltd, Spin Master, Swizzels and Wicked Uncle Toys
  • The volunteers who gave up their time to come into the office to wrap and pack: Caroline Lisberg, Carolyn Klaus, Ged Arnold, Freya Melling, Holly Gardner, Louise Jacobs, Megan McGee, Joshua Saul, Andrew Lobb, Liz Gould, Sarah Lennerd plus teams from the following brilliant companies 1 to 3 Coffee Ltd, BlackRock, Blink, Bregal Milestone, Camp Beaumont, Cedar Recruitment, CJC IT, Hasbro, Hain Daniels, Hilco Capital, JNE Partners, LEGO group, LMAC Group, OSB Group, Sharesy, Texel Foundation and Uncommon.
  • WC Hackney Carriage Drivers, Kinetic IT Ltd and DPD for helping to deliver the Smile Hampers and hospital gifts
  • Santa and our amazing Entertainers for their energy and passion
  • Our NHS Hospital Partners, Hospices, staff and teams for being so brilliant.
Maisie and Thomas

Meet Maisie…

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Maisie’s journey began in January 2021 during the height of the second wave of Covid. After complaining of a stiff neck, an MRI revealed a mass on Maisie’s neck. She was immediately put in a neck brace and blue lighted to King’s College Hospital, where after lots of tests and weeks later, Maisie was diagnosed with Osteoblastoma – a type of benign tumour. The tumour had completely crushed her c5 vertebrae, putting her entire neck at risk.

Maisie underwent 13 hours of surgery at King’s College Hospital to remove the mass and the operation was deemed a success. However, 6 months later during a review in September 2021, the family found out that things had changed and the tumour looked different. Their worst fears were realised when Maisie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma – an aggressive form of primary bone cancer.

After an 8 week period admitted to Stanmore Hospital for DNA genomic testing, Maisie started an intensive course of six rounds of chemotherapy at University College London Hospital (UCLH) to try to shrink the tumour. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy wasn’t successful, leading to more surgery to remove the tumour which took 23 hours across 2.5 days. In October 2022, Maisie started a 6-week course of daily radiotherapy sessions to treat the remaining inoperable cancer in her neck.

Claire, Maisie’s Mum says: “When we found out about Maisie’s cancer, our world fell apart. We found ourselves living from scan to scan, sitting around in hospitals, watching our young daughter undergoing painful and upsetting surgery and treatments, whilst being separated from the rest of our family. The feelings of helplessness, desperation and extreme worry and anxiety were almost unmanageable.”

Maisie and her Mum

Spread a Smile has been supporting Maisie and her family since her treatment started – initially through virtual one-to-one sessions with our entertainers and also bedside visits from our Therapy Dog, Thomas.  These sessions have given Maisie so much joy and laughter, helping to distract her from her treatment and pain. When she feels well enough, Maisie also joins us for our Spread a Smile outings and experiences. She recently came along for our VIP trip to The Lion King in London and met other cancer patients for a fabulous cookery session and meal with the Underground Cookery School.

“Spread a Smile has helped to brighten our days during some of the darkest times. They are like a breath of fresh air and have given Maisie so much to smile about. They help us to feel normal again and forget what Maisie is going through, even if it’s for a short time. What they do is truly wonderful and I can’t thank them enough for helping my daughter to find happiness amongst the pain.”

Please donate to our Christmas Appeal to help ensure we can continue to support young people like Maisie, spreading a smile when it’s needed most.

Just £25 could help pay for a child to meet Santa in our virtual grotto and receive a special gift

Donate Now

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