Posts Tagged :


Royal Parks Half Marathon

Royal Parks Half Marathon

1024 829 Susie

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

1024 683 Susie

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

1024 788 Susie
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, 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, Bregal Milestone, Blink, 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…

1024 683 Susie

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

Join our fundraising team

Join our Fundraising team

1024 768 Susie

Are you a Senior Fundraiser looking for an exciting challenge working alongside a brilliant team?

We’re recruiting for an experienced Senior Fundraising Manager on a full-time, 12-month maternity leave contract.

Click here for the Job Description and how to apply. The deadline for applications is Friday 23 December at 5pm.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Comedy Night with Suzi Ruffell

Comedy Night with Suzi Ruffell

1024 1024 Susie

We are delighted to announce that on Monday 19th December, our Ambassador and Comedian Suzi Ruffell will be hosting a second annual Spread a Smile Comedy Night at The Comedy Store, London, sponsored by our friends at Canary Wharf Contractors.

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural event, Suzi has curated another fantastic evening of stand up comedy, featuring a brilliant line up of famously funny faces, including Alan Carr, Ed Gamble, Rosie Jones, Jen Brister, Jenny Bede and Dinesh Nathan.

Suzi first discovered Spread a Smile when a friend’s child, Trixie, was in hospital and she was able to see first-hand what a difference our visits and entertainers made during Trixie’s stay. Since then, Suzi has supported the charity generously, donating her winnings from TV appearances on The Tipping Point and The Weakest Link, and organising and hosting the first comedy fundraiser in aid of Spread of Smile in December last year.

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors Canary Wharf Contractors for supporting the event:

“We’re so proud to come on board as a sponsor for Spread a Smile’s Comedy Night again this year. It’s set to be a great evening and we’re pleased to be able to support it and the brilliant work the charity does spreading smiles to seriously ill children.” Alec Vallentine, Managing Director – Construction at Canary Wharf Group.

Tickets are on sale now for £23 each, with all proceeds from the event supporting our work spreading laughter and smiles to seriously ill children in hospital wards across the UK.

Event details: Monday 19th December at The Comedy Store, 1a Oxendon Street, London, SW1Y 4EE

Bar and Diner open from 7pm, event starts at 8pm. Strictly over 18’s.

Thank you to Suzi and all of our fantastic comedians for generously giving up their time and sharing their talents with us. And to The Comedy Store for their ongoing support.