Jamie Raven to become Spread a Smile’s first official patron
We are thrilled to announce that magician, Jamie Raven, has become Spread a Smile’s first official patron. He came along to UCLH with us on Tuesday 28 March where he met some children and teenagers and amazed them with his magic tricks.
Our co-founder, Josephine Segal, joined Jamie on the visit to UCLH. She said “We are honoured and delighted to have Jamie Raven as a patron of Spread a Smile. During his visit to UCLH, it was quite amazing to see the patients’ faces light up as Jamie wowed them with his magic. We first met Jamie three years ago and we are really looking forward to continuing and developing our relationship.”
Many of us know Jamie from the 2015 series of Britain’s Got Talent. Jamie had been perfecting his craft over the past 12 years working as a magician around the world and his ambition was always to take it to a wider audience and BGT finally gave him that chance. His online videos from Britain’s Got Talent and other subsequent performances have now been seen over 400 million times, making him one of the most viewed magicians in the world today.
Jamie headlined “The Illusionists” at The Shaftesbury Theatre, which went on to break box office records and in doing so became the most successful magic show ever in the history of London’s West End.
We caught up with Jamie and spoke to him about why he chose to work with Spread a Smile.
What attracted you to Spread a Smile’s work initially?
Originally, your founders, Jospehine and Vanessa called to ask if I could help and to arrange for other magicians to help with Spread a Smile in its infancy and having spoken to Josephine on the phone, I could hear in her voice that she is a good person, doing great things, for the most deserving cause so I wanted to help out if I could.
How did visiting the children in hospital make you feel?
It is always the most wonderful way to spend time. If you can make somebody laugh, or smile, even for a second, I think it is one of the most precious gifts in the world. If you add in to that all that the children and their families are going through, to be able to hopefully do something for them that may make their day a tiny bit easier, or to somehow make the suffering just a little bit less, there is no better feeling.
What difference do you think Spread a Smile’s work makes to the families?
I think it is invaluable, how do you put a price on making somebody smile, somebody happy, to make somebody or their friends or family forget the terrible time that they are going through, even just for a few minutes? You can’t, therefore by definition, to me, the work is invaluable
Can you recall one particular moment which stood out to you during your hospital visits?
There are too many to list I think it must have been my very first visit, to see first-hand just how much of a difference the work makes.
How do you feel when you leave the hospital after a visit?
I feel wonderful Looking past the situation of why the children and their families are there, I always focus on the positives. Did what you did make somebody else’s day a little bit better? If the answer if yes, then there is very little in life that can make you prouder.
I know you recently hosted some families from Spread a Smile at one of your shows – how did it feel to have them at the show and meet them afterwards?
It was awesome, I am so thrilled that they could come and they enjoyed the show. To think that they would like to come and watch me and what I do is an honour. We met up afterwards to take some photos and for some hugs. It was definitely one of the highlights of the tour
What makes you smile?
What makes me smile? Love, when it is shared unconditionally and selflessly, especially to those who need it the most. When I was a kid I was told that “your smile can change everything, use it to be the change you want to see in the world” and if lots of people spread lots of smiles, great things happen