Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children received a large dose of festive cheer as the Starlight Christmas Pantomime stopped by to entertain the young patients on the Children’s Ward recently.
The fully interactive pop-up pantomime was organised by Starlight Children’s Foundation and The Panto Company as part of an eight-week tour that will see Aladdin performed in children’s hospices and hospitals across the UK. Play Specialist Sara Smith said: “We were delighted to welcome this special team of panto performers to Queen Mary’s. The pantomime, which was also enjoyed by children from Woodlands Nursery (the onsite childcare facility for children of staff who work at the hospitals), was full of fun and had the children laughing, cheering and singing along from start to finish!
“We know that playing and having fun can significantly help to improve a child’s hospital experience and we are very grateful to Starlight’s Christmas Pantomime for bringing some extra festive fun to the ward. It was great to see all of the children having such a wonderful time, especially the patients on the Children’s Ward who were able to come into the playroom, forget about their surroundings and just enjoythemselves. It was also quite a treat for the parents and staff, too!”
Starlight is a national charity that grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK. Sue Wildman, Head of Children’s Services at Starlight Children’s Foundation, said: “Starlight aims to distract children from the pain and anxiety that they feel as a result of their illness. Starlight’s Christmas Pantomime is a fabulous way of spreading some much needed festive cheer to poorly children and their families spending time in hospitals and hospices over the Christmas period. We hope that the performance of Aladdin was just what the doctor ordered!”
Nikki Sancroft, Matron for Paediatrics, said: “It was truly delightful to see a group of such happy faces on the Children’s Ward when the pantomime was being performed. This is a terrific initiative – being in hospital can be a very difficult and distressing time for children, so the opportunity to enjoy themselves and get involved in some festive cheer makes a real difference. Thank you to both Starlight and The Panto Company for bringing the pantomime to Queen Mary’s this year.”