THE charity ‘Spread a Smile’ has announced its newest collaboration with Croydon University Hospital to help spread smiles of joy to our young, seriously ill patients.
Patients and families across our Paediatric Unit, Oncology Clinic and inpatient and outpatient wards will now be able to access the many vital services that Spread a Smile provides, such as in-person entertainer visits as well as visits done virtually, suiting to the patient’s needs.
Working closely with our staff and play teams, the charity aims to spread joy and laughter at the most difficult times, providing opportunities for connection and distraction from treatment and illness. We will be joining the Spread a Smile family alongside the 25 other NHS hospitals and 2 hospices nationwide.
By collaborating with the charity, we aim to help seriously ill children who are on their road to recovery with entertainment, smiles and laughter. The Spread a Smile team will spend quality time with patients, as well as running holiday-themed virtual events and entertainment. Virtual visits alongside face-to-face sessions allow the team to see as many patients as possible, all with the aim of spreading hundreds of smiles at our hospital every single year.
The collaboration will add to the work already accomplished by our dedicated charity, Croydon Health Charity, which continually raises funds to enhance the patient experience for Croydon’s sick children and young people. Recently, the charity funded two children’s playgrounds for unwell children receiving care in our Rainbow Children’s Unit, as well as play resources, a teenage chill-out area and a therapeutic Zen garden.
Children using our services will be invited to join weekly virtual group hospital sessions with entertainers, take part in themed activity days when celebrating events like Easter and Christmas, giving children and their families many opportunities to join in with other activities, including family days out.
Families of long-term patients will also be able to book one-on-one sessions with Spread a Smile’s wonderful entertainers.
May Chu, Senior Healthcare Play Specialist at Croydon University Hospital said of the partnership:
“Spread a Smile never fails to bring happiness and joy to our patients and staff. We always look forward to showing them around. The time and effort they take for each patient is really appreciated.”
Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile CEO, added:
“We are delighted to be providing monthly in-person entertainer visits. We know that our visits help patients cope better with the hospital environment and allow them to feel less isolated.
“Our support to the young oncology patients is all about making their experience in hospital a more positive one and distracting them from challenging treatments and procedures. We look forward to more in-person visits with our team of entertainers in the future.”