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Mr Magic spreads smiles around the world

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Spread a Smile’s entertainers do an incredible job, spreading laughter and joy to seriously ill children and their families in NHS hospitals and hospices and through our events and virtual visits.

One such entertainer is Mr Magic – one of the very first entertainers to join Co-Founders, Josephine Segal and Vanessa Crocker when they set up Spread a Smile over 10 years ago. Today Mr Magic remains a firm favourite amongst the families we support and is much loved as he spreads smiles across hospital wards and at Spread a Smile events.

“Jack loved Mr Magic and all the Spread a Smile magicians. The consistency of seeing them in different hospitals really helped him to cope with his illness and treatment. During Proton Beam Therapy, we stay away from home for over 6 weeks and feel really isolated. Our Spread a Smile visits helped us to meet other families and really gave us something to look forward to.” Jodie, Jack’s Mum

Recently, Spread a Smile filmed Mr Magic in action at one of their NHS hospital partners, performing some of his brilliant magic tricks for a young patient on the ward. After posting the film to the charity’s social media accounts to highlight the difference our entertainers make to the children they meet, the film went viral on Instagram, being viewed over 1.3million times and liked by over 115,000 accounts. The reaction of the child in the film speaks for itself, showing just how important Spread a Smile’s work is.

Spread a Smile currently supports 32 NHS hospitals and four hospices across the country, reaching thousands of children and their families every year. We also reach hundreds more through our virtual sessions and in-person family events, making sure our families have access to our services wherever they may be.  It is our mission to grow and reach even more hospitals and families, spreading smiles to seriously ill children and young people during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

To share in the Spread a Smile ‘Mr Magic magic’, you can watch the film here or below. Please do share as far and wide as possible and help us reach even more families when they need us most.

If you would like to make a donation to support our work, please follow this link. Just £26 could help pay for an entertainer like Mr Magic to visit a seriously child in hospital, spreading smiles and happiness.

To get involved, fundraise or find out how you or your company can support Spread a Smile, please email the team at – we’d love to hear from you. You can also sign up to our e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with our work, fundraising activities.

Thank you so much for your support.

Constellia new partnership

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We are delighted to announce a new partnership with Constellia, a leading procurement specialist for the public and private sector in the UK.

As a procurement partner to the NHS and the wider public sector, Constellia understands the enormous pressures the NHS faces daily when it comes to time and resources to deliver lifesaving work. By choosing Spread a Smile as its nominated charity of the year for 2024, Constellia hopes it can in some small way help Spread a Smile to bring precious moments of joy to seriously ill children, teenagers and their families.

The partnership will include volunteering opportunities, financial contributions and providing us with a platform to showcase our work to Constellia’s dynamic marketplace of suppliers and clients.

To kick off the partnership, Constellia’s team joined forces with Spread a Smile and their social value partners at for a heartwarming day of packing “Smile Hampers.” These hampers, filled with handpicked gifts and treats, are intended for the homes of some of the incredible children and young people supported by Spread a Smile, as well as their siblings. This collaborative effort was part of Spread a Smile’s annual campaign, which this year saw 1,450 boxes sent out to the families we support. The campaign achieved remarkable success, with the joint efforts of 530 volunteers from all over the UK.

Rob Levene, CEO of Constellia, commented, “At Constellia, we are passionate about making a positive social impact, and Spread a Smile’s incredible work aligns perfectly with our values. We are honoured to support them as our nominated charity of the year and look forward to contributing to their mission of bringing smiles to children and teenagers facing challenging times.”

Lucy Jackson, CEO of Spread a Smile, commented, “We are thrilled to have Constellia as a charity partner. Their commitment to helping children and young people facing illness is heartwarming, and their support will enable us to continue bringing happiness and laughter to those who need it most.”

A huge thank you to Constellia for their support.

Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice partnership

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Spread a Smile today announces its newest supported charity, Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, based in Maidenhead, Alexander Devine offers vital care to babies, children, young people and their families with life limiting and life-threatening conditions across Berkshire and into surrounding counties.

Spread a Smile will provide additional opportunities to the children and their families, with in person visits throughout the year at family events, treat drops and bespoke art sessions.

Spread a Smile’s mission is to bring joy and laughter to as many seriously ill children as possible in NHS hospitals, clinical settings, hospices and homes across the UK.  Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service joins 3 other hospices, and 31 major and speciality NHS hospitals already supported by Spread a Smile, taking the charity one step closer to its aim, to spread smiles across the whole of the UK.

The Spread a Smile team of talented entertainers, including musicians, artists, magicians and therapy dogs, will spend quality time with patients at family events where the Spread a Smile family will invite them to join in one-to-one sessions and group activities, with the aim of spreading smiles and happiness to children undergoing treatment for serious illness, alongside their families.

Children and young people at Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service will also be able to sign up for seasonal Spread a Smile activities such as Christmas eventsenjoy entertainer visits scheduled throughout the year, all giving children and their families the opportunity to join in with fun and exciting experiences.

Gemma Wood, Play Specialist at Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service said “Spread a Smile has lived up to their name with the support they have given to us. Laura, their Director of Services reached out to us earlier in the year to offer their skills and experience to us. Spread a Smile helped to provide entertainment for our siblings day. This enabled our cared for children and their siblings to experience fun and joy together, helping the families make precious memories together.

“Marina, their Head of Art has provided some amazing artwork in our dining room which is in view when you enter our hospice. This has brought a smile to our families and staff faces as it lights up the entire area. Thank you Spread a Smile.” 

Laura Walter, Spread a Smile Director of Services added, “We are delighted to be working with Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and their wonderful team to help bring a little joy and laughter to the children and families. It’s a very special place and we are proud to be able to share the Spread a Smile magic and reach even more children and young people in the hospice setting.”

A huge thank you to everyone who makes our work possible. Please click here for more on the different NHS hospital and hospice partners that we support.

Whipps Cross Hospital – New NHS partner

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Spread a Smile today announces its latest NHS hospital partner Whipps Cross Hospital, which is part of Barts Health NHS Trust. Spread a Smile will work closely with the play team and staff across the paediatric wards, to support seriously ill children and young people receiving treatment for a range of everyday and highly complex and specialist conditions and illnesses. These patients, along with their families are invited to join the Spread a Smile family and benefit from their services.

Spread a Smile’s mission is to bring joy and laughter to as many seriously ill children as possible in NHS hospitals, clinical settings, hospices and homes across the UK. Whipps Cross Hospital joins 28 other major and speciality NHS hospitals and three hospice partners already supported by Spread a Smile, taking the charity one step closer to its aim.

The Spread a Smile team of talented entertainers, including musicians, artists, magicians and therapy dogs, will spend quality time with patients in hospital through one-to-one visits and group sessions. Patients and their families will also be able to access virtual online events and activity sessions, including art clubs, balloon modelling, music lessons and more, enabling the charity to see and support as many people as possible. All with the aim of spreading hundreds of smiles and a lot of happiness to children undergoing treatment for serious illness and their families.

Children at Whipps Cross Hospital will be able to join special themed virtual activity days, via iPad, celebrating seasonal occasions such as Christmas, with a virtual Santa’s grotto, benefit from regular treat drops and enjoy entertainer visits scheduled throughout the year, all giving seriously ill children and their families the opportunity to join in with fun and exciting experiences that they may otherwise not have access to.

Rebecca Bremner, Play Specialist at Whipps Cross Hospital said of the partnership, “Spread a Smile has been an amazing addition to facilitating smiles and laughter to Acorn ward (and beyond!) in Whipps Cross. We take great pleasure in showing the entertainers across the ward and visiting the patients we feel are in need of a distraction and a positive experience within the sterile hospital environment. Often children and young people feel isolated and excluded from what is going on around them when it comes to their treatment. By having Spread a Smile visit it allows them to feel a connection to something that is real in front of them – talk of blood tests, results, scans etc can make a child or young person feel disconnected. But the wonder of having their card appear at the top of a pile or a favourite Disney song echoing through the halls is magical to say the least! We also had a 9-year-old boy unwell with asthma on the ward, who was very anxious at having his treatment, then Spread a Smile arrived to distract him with some magic, bubbles and lots of laughter. 

“We also find that children and young people live through experiences by media, so having the option for online activities can make our patients feel included, especially when one of our long-term patients interacted with her favourite YouTube star in a Spread a Smile event! In conclusion we thoroughly enjoy our visits from Spread a Smile. The experiences that the patients receive are not rushed and are inclusive.  Everyone feels important and worthy of something a bit special instead of everything being about illness or treatment which often comes first within a hospital environment”.

Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive added, “It is such a pleasure to be supporting the amazing team at Whipps Cross Hospital to spread smiles to seriously ill children and young people on the wards. We are looking forward to meeting even more patients and their families as our partnership with the hospital develops, being there to support them when they need us most.” 

To donate to help us continue to spread smiles, please click here. Thank you.

Celebrating World Smile Day 2023

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October 6 is World Smile Day and is all about making people smile, through laughter and kindness.

At Spread a Smile we love making people smile every day, but today we have some extra special things planned to help spread even more smiles to the seriously ill children, young people and families we support.

We have a lovely afternoon tea party planned with the team at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for parents of children on Fox and Rabbit wards. Our amazing friends at Brigit’s Bakery have generously donated 20 delicious afternoon teas for parents to enjoy and two of our talented entertainers will be joining in the fun with music and singing. Our aromatherapist, Priya will also be at GOSH delivering pamper sessions for parents and much needed moments of relaxation and calm. We’re hoping to see many smiles across the hospital from families and the hospital teams alike.

What’s more, Spread a Smile entertainers will be sharing lots of smiles with patients undergoing proton beam therapy at University College Hospital. We really do hope that all of our activities will spread many smiles and bring a little joy.

World Smile Day was initiated by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts, known for creating the iconic smiley face symbol in 1963. He believed that his creation had become too commercialised and wanted to devote a day to genuine smiles and acts of kindness.

We are extremely grateful for some acts of kindness and support from two of our partners for World Smile Day. Alongside their afternoon tea donation, Brigit’s Bakery will kindly donate 10% from every order placed on World Smile Day. Plus, the amazing team at Mildreds have created a special trio of macrons with all profits from sales this month being donated to Spread a Smile. They will also be adding an optional £1 onto guest bills across their restaurants from 1- 14 October. Find out more here.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Brigit’s Bakery, Mildreds, our hospital partners and all our supporters for helping Spread a Smile do what we do best, today and beyond.

Meet Cary, Spread a Smile fundraiser

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On Sunday 8 October an incredible 67 runners will join Team Smile for the Royal Parks Half Marathon. One of our amazing runners is Cary Driscoll who is taking on this beautiful run in aid of Spread a Smile. We spoke to Cary about why he is running and his top tips for fundraising!

Why have you joined Team Smile for the Royal Parks Half Marathon?

 “I came across Spread a Smile back in 2018 when a family friend’s daughter received visits from their entertainers in hospital. I was touched by the concept and the impact it has on the child and their siblings and parents. So, I decided to run the London Marathon for Spread a Smile in 2019 and it made the incredible experience even more special. I’m really looking forward to taking on the Royal Parks Half as well.”

Is this your first half marathon?

“I have run the Royal Parks Half Marathon twice before, (too long ago to remember the first one!) and it is my favourite half marathon. The crowds as you run into the Hyde Park entrance after running past Buckingham Palace has stuck in my mind ever since. I can’t wait to experience this again for Spread a Smile.”

How have you found the training?

“I know that my marathon days are past me due to cumulative injuries to different parts of my legs and feet!  I’ve found training challenging as a new and wonderful heel injury called Plantar Fasciitis which makes walking very painful for days after a run.  I’ve been managing this by reducing the amount of runs I do and gratefully I’m good to go for Sunday. Team Smile have been brilliant at supporting and motivating me in my training and when I think of the families I’m fundraising to support, I know it will all be worth it.”

What are you looking forward to the most?

“I’m really looking forward to waving to the Spread a Smile supporters at Mile 9 and even more so at Mile 12! I know they will bring plenty of smiles and cheers to help me along. It’s great to know I’m part of a big team that are behind each other every step of the way.”

Any tips for fundraising?

“Regular, but not too regular social media reminders, concentrating on the incredible work Spread a Smile do. I find it strikes a chord with many people who were not previously aware of Spread a Smile, and even if the publicity doesn’t result in immediate donations, it will plant a seed for later – for your fundraising or someone else who fund raises for Spread a Smile in the future.”

Good luck to Cary and all our runners. We’ll be there to cheer you on!

If you’re inspired and would like to join Team Smile for future fundraising challenges, please email Rimi at – why not take one of our places for the London Landmarks Half Marathon in April 2024? Find out more here.