brightening children's days entertaining children in hospital
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Prime Minister gives Spread a Smile founders Points of Light award


The work of Spread a Smile has been acknowledged by Prime Minister Theresa May who has awarded co-Founders Vanessa Crocker and Josephine Segal a Points of Light award for their volunteering. 

Vanessa Crocker and Josephine Segal, co-founded ‘Spread a Smile’ charity after seeing the positive impact a magician’s visit had on Josephine’s 9-year- old nephew when he was treated in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Vanessa and Josephine are the latest recipients of a Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Vanessa and Josephine, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through ‘Spread a Smile’, you are brightening hospital stays for children and teenagers and making difficult experiences so much more bearable for the whole family. The additional trips and workshops you organise provide much needed support and respite for families too.”

Vanessa and Josephine said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive recognition of the amazing work our team does for seriously ill children and teenagers in hospital. We dedicate this award to all of the incredible families we see whose extraordinary resilience carries them through such difficult times.”

Vanessa and Josephine are the 629th and 630th winners of the Points of Light award, which was developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments , a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.


Spread a Smile is dedicated to improving the time spent by seriously ill children and teenagers in hospital. We take entertainers such as fairies, pirates, children’s characters, magicians, singers, face painters, authors and poets into Great Ormond Street and University College and The Royal London Hospitals. Our aim is to bring much needed joy to these children and teenagers, diverting their attention away from their treatment, stimulating their minds and alleviating the boredom and monotony associated with sustained hospital stays. Families are often deeply affected by the hospitalisation of a child so we also entertain siblings.  

Twitter

Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 8:42pm
#MondayMotivation we are all a buzz in the office today, all wheels churning working toward our exciting year! #spreadasmile #sunisshining https://t.co/t1aqxkiCSC spreadasmileuk photo
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Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 2:49am
And the winner of the £25 @MarineGelato voucher is......... @jessica_austin2 Well done! Thank you to @cassie_therapy dog for your help 🐾😀 https://t.co/leYY6jJx6A
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Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 at 12:16am
We are giving away a £25 voucher for @MarineGelato Follow us & RT to enter! Winner chosen on Fri 24 March #IceCream #BuddyBear #spreadasmile
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Testimonials

My daughter izzy has been fighting cancer for nearly 2 years. She is 3 years old and needs constant entertaining. No charity has ever given or done anything for izzy apart from this one. The organizers and volunteers are absolutely amazing. I have spread the word about spread a smile and I make sure that anyone that wants to send izzy a gift sends it to them instead. We look forward to seeing you on Christmas day down in fox ward. Thank you so so much for always putting a smile on Izzys face. X

Melissa

2015-04-13T03:26:57-11:00

Melissa

My daughter izzy has been fighting cancer for nearly 2 years. She is 3 years old and needs constant entertaining. No charity has ever given or done anything for izzy apart from this one. The organizers and volunteers are absolutely amazing. I have spread the word about spread a smile and I make sure that anyone that wants to send izzy a gift sends it to them instead. We look forward to seeing you on Christmas day down in fox ward. Thank you so so much for always putting a smile on Izzys face. X
"Spread a Smile 'does exactly what it says on the tin'. Their simple approach of showing that there is still joy, love and laughter to be experienced, even in the teeth of very real stress, is nothing short of genius. It is incredibly hard as a parent of a very sick child to be 'fun'-for them or their siblings. Today has taken that pressure off this particular parent and for that I will be eternally grateful".

Fiona Barnet

2015-04-13T03:25:19-11:00

Fiona Barnet

"Spread a Smile 'does exactly what it says on the tin'. Their simple approach of showing that there is still joy, love and laughter to be experienced, even in the teeth of very real stress, is nothing short of genius. It is incredibly hard as a parent of a very sick child to be 'fun'-for them or their siblings. Today has taken that pressure off this particular parent and for that I will be eternally grateful".
“My daughter loves the whole team at Spread a Smile. Because of her and myself I love them too, I always admire the work they do. I feel the words "Spread a Smile" fit the team very well. Bravo to whoever has chosen the name and the team are fantastic. I don’t have exact words to express myself fully to express how good they are. Maybe I can copy my 6 year old daughter by saying they are very, very, very, very, very, very good. I pray for good health to the team and long life. My daughter gets distracted from feeling headaches when the Spread a Smile team are around. This is itself a cure for her without side effects. This space was not enough for me.”

F. Sayid

2015-04-13T03:24:56-11:00

F. Sayid

“My daughter loves the whole team at Spread a Smile. Because of her and myself I love them too, I always admire the work they do. I feel the words "Spread a Smile" fit the team very well. Bravo to whoever has chosen the name and the team are fantastic. I don’t have exact words to express myself fully to express how good they are. Maybe I can copy my 6 year old daughter by saying they are very, very, very, very, very, very good. I pray for good health to the team and long life. My daughter gets distracted from feeling headaches when the Spread a Smile team are around. This is itself a cure for her without side effects. This space was not enough for me.”
"Spread a Smile's volunteers were one of the only things that could raise a smile in our daughter during her chemotherapy. Their fairies are angels of kindness, and their magicians conjure away the pain with every visit. It's hard to explain how slowly time passes on a children's oncology ward, but Spread a Smile silenced the ticking of the clock, and remained at our daughter's side to sprinkle a little fairy dust and make her feel for a few moments like the luckiest girl in the world"

Parker M.

2015-04-13T03:17:56-11:00

Parker M.

"Spread a Smile's volunteers were one of the only things that could raise a smile in our daughter during her chemotherapy. Their fairies are angels of kindness, and their magicians conjure away the pain with every visit. It's hard to explain how slowly time passes on a children's oncology ward, but Spread a Smile silenced the ticking of the clock, and remained at our daughter's side to sprinkle a little fairy dust and make her feel for a few moments like the luckiest girl in the world"
"Fiona has enjoyed a wonderful day and an amazing memory of fun times with her mum and dad before her surgery tomorrow".

Andrew Moorcroft

2015-04-13T03:25:43-11:00

Andrew Moorcroft

"Fiona has enjoyed a wonderful day and an amazing memory of fun times with her mum and dad before her surgery tomorrow".
"To smile is the best medicine! Thanks for always making our whole family smile. Love and thanks Winter Family"

Winter Family

2015-04-13T03:26:04-11:00

Winter Family

"To smile is the best medicine! Thanks for always making our whole family smile. Love and thanks Winter Family"
Thank you. We can't explain just how whoever works at Spread a Smile is just so caring and sensitive to the children's needs. Also the charity is just organised with these events, from starting on time to sending photos to the families, to not rushing families at the end as it is 1.30pm. Nothing is too much.

I can't really explain just what a great charity it is and we as a family are grateful that you Let us make special memories. I wish we had known about you when my brother was alive. Please tell everyone.xxx

So thank you to everyone at Spread a Smile
from the Jain Family.
xxx❤️❤️❤️xxxx
2016-12-07T12:12:09-11:00
Thank you. We can't explain just how whoever works at Spread a Smile is just so caring and sensitive to the children's needs. Also the charity is just organised with these events, from starting on time to sending photos to the families, to not rushing families at the end as it is 1.30pm. Nothing is too much. I can't really explain just what a great charity it is and we as a family are grateful that you Let us make special memories. I wish we had known about you when my brother was alive. Please tell everyone.xxx So thank you to everyone at Spread a Smile from the Jain Family. xxx❤️❤️❤️xxxx
"Thank you so much for an amazing day you gave our whole family. We had such fun from start to finish!! All our efforts to provide such a wonderful day did not go unnoticed. Spread a Smile is a unique charity and I shall have great pleasure in spreading the work to all I know in helping support such a great charity! Thank you again".

Natalie Taylor

2015-04-13T03:26:29-11:00

Natalie Taylor

"Thank you so much for an amazing day you gave our whole family. We had such fun from start to finish!! All our efforts to provide such a wonderful day did not go unnoticed. Spread a Smile is a unique charity and I shall have great pleasure in spreading the work to all I know in helping support such a great charity! Thank you again".