Posts Tagged :

spread a smile

Announcing our new partnership with Abound

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We are proud to announce a new partnership with lending specialists Abound. Not only will they generously be supporting Spread a Smile by making a donation for every one of their loans originated, but their team will also be taking part in Spread a Smile challenge events and volunteering at our family parties and theatre trips.

Mark London, Chief Risk Officer for Abound said about the partnership, “We have seen, first-hand, the incredible difference Spread a Smile makes to the families they support.  Abound is honoured to be supporting their brilliant work.”

Support from companies such as Abound makes a huge difference to Spread a Smile and we’re extremely grateful to them for helping to fund our work bringing joy and laughter to children in hospital and at home.

“Thank you to everyone at Abound and their customers for supporting Spread a Smile and helping to ensure we can continue our work spreading smiles to seriously ill children and young people. Together we’ll be able to reach even more young people and their families during some of the most difficult times of their lives. We are looking forward to a long and meaningful partnership. Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive

To find out more about how you or your company can get involved with Spread a Smile and support our vital work, please get in touch with Amanda Azouz by email at

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.

What a night! B&C Awards 2023

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Spread a Smile was delighted to be chosen as charity partner for this years B&C Awards, held at the prestigious Hurlingham Club in London last Thursday night.

The Awards, organised by Medianett Publishing in association with Market Finance Solutions, celebrate companies and individuals from the specialist finance market, with 30 awards handed out on the night.

Spread a Smile Chief Executive, Lucy Jackson along with our Head of Fundraising Amanda Azouz and Mr Magic joined guests for a wonderful evening centred around the theme of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. An amazing £19,000 was raised on the night through pledges and a silent auction to help spread smiles to seriously ill children and young people and their families.

“After hearing the stories about the amazing work Spread A Smile does for thousands of children with acute or chronic conditions every year, we were delighted to team up with Spread a Smile at this year’s B&C Awards as our charity partner.” said Medianett Publishing’s Managing Director Beth Fisher.

“After Lucy gave her heartfelt speech and presented her video to our guests, magicians from Spread a Smile worked their magic to get donations from the crowd of over 780 professionals in the specialist finance industry throughout the night.

“We hope the generous donations towards the Silent Auction and from table holders will support this fantastic charity in spreading smiles to thousands more children.”

Andrew Bloom, owner of Spring Finance — who holds the charity close to his heart and recommended us as this year’s Awards partner — commented: “Spread A Smile is a truly special charity; what could be purer than bringing joy and laughter to a seriously ill child. In 2023, their entertainers will visit dozens of hospitals nationwide spreading smiles to thousands of children. I am delighted to be part of an industry that supports charities like these.”

Our thanks go to Spring Finance and Medianett Publishing for their wonderful support.

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

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.

New weekend visits to GOSH

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Weekends often mean much quieter wards and less distraction and activities available for seriously ill children and young people receiving treatment in hospital. Time can go very slowly, particularly for those spending time in isolation in their own room.

Which is why Spread a Smile recently started weekend visits to patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Laura Walter, Director of Services for Spread a Smile said, “We are so excited to now be offering a monthly Saturday visit at GOSH. We know from speaking to families that it can be difficult to pass the time in hospital over the weekends, and the days can seem long and monotonous. Weekends can also be an added challenge for families, who are torn between home and hospital. At Spread a Smile, we want to provide as many play opportunities to children and young people as possible, and we recognise that play doesn’t stop at the weekend.”

For September, Spread a Smile Visit Manager Debbie, along with Sar and her guitar worked closely with the GOSH Play Team to visit some of the long term babies and toddlers on the wards, bringing  music, instruments and song. It was lovely to receive some fantastic feedback after the visit from staff and parents of patients saying how beneficial and much appreciated the interactions were.

Each month, the visit will focus on a different theme, bringing a variety of exciting activities and sessions over the weekends, with a special LEGO play visit following in October.

Thank you to our generous donors and supporters for enabling us to continue our vital work supporting seriously ill children and their families when they need it most.


Jenna Coleman spreads smiles at BGC Charity Day

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Spread a Smile is delighted to have been chosen as a beneficiary charity for the 19th annual BGC Charity Day yesterday.

The fundraiser takes place every year on September 11th to raise money in memory of the brokerage’s 658 colleagues and 61 Eurobrokers employees who tragically lost their lives in the World Trade Centre attacks on 9/11. 100% of BGC Group’s global revenues on the day will be donated to charities around the world, including Spread a Smile.

Photo Credit: Dave Benett

It was a very special day, and we are extremely grateful that BAFTA-nominated British actor Jenna Coleman joined us to represent Spread a Smile on the trading floor at BGC Group, hitting the phones to help raise vital funds for charitable causes alongside a host of other celebrities.

“Spread a Smile is an incredible charity which brings much needed laughter and happiness to seriously ill children in hospital. I’m proud to represent them at the BGC Charity Day and have had a wonderful afternoon on the trading floor and meeting some of the inspirational families the charity supports, along with some very talented Spread a Smile entertainers. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I hope that we’ve managed to raise lots of much needed awareness and funds to help ensure they can continue to share the Spread a Smile magic.” Jenna Coleman

We were also delighted that some of the families we support, along with our talented entertainers were also invited for this exciting day out at the BGC office, with treats and lots of fun and games along the way.

Spread a Smile does not receive any government funding and needs to raise £1.4million each year to continue to deliver our services spreading joy and laughter up and down the country. Support from amazing companies and individuals like BGC Group and Jenna will make a huge impact, raising much needed funds and awareness and helping us to spread even more smiles to seriously ill children, young people and their families when they need it most.

“We are so grateful to be benefitting from this year’s BGC Charity Day. Funds raised will support our work, bringing much-needed joy and laughter to critically ill children in hospital. We also owe a huge thank you to Jenna Coleman who represented Spread a Smile on the day and was joined by some inspirational families who have been supported by Spread a Smile.” Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive.

Thank you to Jenna Coleman and her team, our families and entertainers and everyone at BGC Group for all their hard work and for inviting Spread a Smile to be part of this wonderful initiative.

Every Pack Gives Back with McVitie’s BN biscuits

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We are delighted to announce that McVitie’s has partnered with Spread a Smile, supporting the charity through its iconic McVitie’s BN biscuits. The partnership is a perfect fit, as the BN biscuit is well-known for its smiley face.

Not only have McVitie’s BN donated to help fund Spread a Smile’s work supporting seriously ill children in hospital, they are also including the charity’s branding and details of the partnership on in store media to raise awareness of the work we do under their ‘Every Pack Gives Back’ messaging.

McVitie’s BN biscuits made a triumphant return to shelves in January 2022, allowing fans the chance to once again ‘taste the smile’.

The first wave of the ‘Every Pack Gives Back campaign’ supporting Spread a Smile appeared in Asda stores across the country back in May 2023. A second burst of activity is planned for September, reaching into even more major retailers, including Sainsbury’s.

The return of the BN biscuits jingle “BN BN, do doo do doo-do” across several radio stations this month is also helping to raise awareness of the partnership with Spread a Smile.

Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive said, “Our partnership with McVitie’s BN is an exciting opportunity for Spread a Smile. This year, our aim is to spread smiles to even more seriously ill children and their families in more hospitals and thanks to the financial support and brand awareness provided by McVitie’s, we’ll be able to do just that. We are extremely grateful to them for sharing their BN smile with us.” 

Aslı Özen Turhan, Chief Marketing Officer at pladis UK&I said: We at McVitie’s BN are proud to support Spread a Smile with the incredible work they do bringing joy to thousands of seriously ill children in hospitals and hospices across the UK. We hope the partnership with BN helps continue to bring smiles to those who need it most.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to McVitie’s BN for their support and helping us to spread smiles far and wide.

Please get in touch with Amanda Azouz if you or your company are interested in supporting Spread a Smile and making a difference to seriously ill children in hospital. Thank you

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a time to highlight the impact cancer has on children, young people and their families.

Each year, Spread a Smile’s team of therapeutic entertainers support hundreds of children, young people and their families, battling all kinds of serious illnesses. Cancer is one of them.

Around 12 children and young people in the UK will find out the devastating news that they have cancer every day, which marks the beginning of a difficult path navigating hospital admissions, invasive treatments, pain and horrible side effects, and ongoing worry and uncertainty.

Spread a Smile’s mission is to be there for as many young people and their families as possible, bringing joy, fun, laughter, distraction, and friendship during some of the most difficult times. Young people like Hannah who in 2022 was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue sarcoma (cancer).

Andrea, Hannah’s Mum said, “We discovered Spread a Smile whilst waiting for proton beam therapy in the hospital playroom. There was a notice on the wall saying that Spread a Smile would be visiting with a therapy dog, so we asked to change Hannah’s treatment time to coincide with their visit. 

“We met Laura from the charity who explained what Spread a Smile does and how they could support Hannah. Laura was so kind, asking Hannah what she was interested in and listening to her and what she had to say. We realised that Hannah really enjoyed art and so she started weekly art classes in hospital with Abi, one of the Spread a Smile artists. Hannah also loved meeting the magicians and therapy dogs – Buddy, Harry, Thomas and Choco!

“It was such a good thing for both of us – throwing balls for the dogs, having cuddles, learning magic tricks and creating something in art. Hannah would become very poorly whilst on chemotherapy, so we weren’t allowed home at weekends and spent six weeks away from home and family in London. Meeting Spread a Smile would break up the week and give Hannah (and me) so many moments of laughter, happiness and enjoyment.  

“Instead of just turning up at the exact time for our appointments, we would arrive at hospital first thing for when Spread a Smile arrived, so we could spend as much time as possible with them. Hannah didn’t want to miss a thing! It gave her a sense of purpose and meant a huge amount to both of us.

“Spread a Smile also invited us on an outing to afternoon tea at Mildreds restaurant in London – which was brilliant. It was a chance for us to have a day out together, in amongst all the treatment and hospital stuff. We were able to relax and breathe for a while.”

“Since coming home, we are so lucky that Hannah has been able to continue her art classes every other week over Zoom. The classes are a way of her being with other people – friends now – who don’t treat her differently because of her illness. She is Hannah the person, not the illness. She looks forward to the sessions as she is listened to and valued. She has choices and independence which is hugely important when your life feels like it’s controlled by something like cancer.

“Spread a Smile has made a huge difference to Hannah, making life just a bit more manageable.”

Thank you to everyone who makes the work we do spreading smiles to young people like Hannah possible. Click here to find out more about our work across the UK.

Please get in touch if you would like to access our services here.

Reaching more patients virtually

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Spread a Smile’s mission is to bring joy to as many seriously ill children and young people across the country. Thanks to a generous donation of 10 iPads and cases from CJC IT we’ll now be able to reach even more of the most vulnerable patients, carrying out virtual visits in hospitals when face-to-face visits aren’t possible.

Some hospitalised patients are not able to meet our team in person due to infection risk, for example, if they are severely immunocompromised and at a greater risk of serious infection. Spread a Smile Visit Managers will take an iPad with them to our NHS hospital partners and safely pass the iPad to a seriously ill patient so they can meet the Spread a Smile entertainers virtually and enjoy the magic and distraction that they bring.

Spread a Smile Director of Services, Laura Walter said, “When a child is seriously ill, sometimes they might spend weeks or even months isolated from the world around them, not able to do things that other children are doing or see many people other than medical staff. Thanks to the generous gift of iPads from CJC IT, Spread a Smile will be able to reach some of the most vulnerable and seriously ill children and young people, providing moments of comfort and joy during one of the most difficult times of their lives.”

Some of the iPads will also be donated to our hospitals so that Play Teams and staff can access our wider virtual visits and group sessions with their patients when we are not there in person.

Paul Gow, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at CJC said, “Seeing the impact of Spread a Smile first-hand last year really touched me, personally and as a company, CJC is committed and strongly supports the welfare and children’s wellbeing.” He adds, “Many of CJC’s staff are actively volunteering and raising money in support of Spread a Smile, for example, Tough Mudder London next month.”

A huge thank you to CJC IT for their wonderful support and for helping us to spread even more smiles when they are needed most.

Please get in touch with us at to find out how you or your company can help spread smiles across the UK.

*As always, Spread a Smile will work with the hospital team to adhere to strict infection control procedures, wiping down and sterilising the iPad in between patients.