Young patients welcome Starlight Christmas Panto stars at Southend Hospital
09 December 2016
Dick Whittington and his Cat rocked up to Southend Hospital’s Neptune children’s ward recently to bring fun and laughter to those poorly youngsters in hospital.
Christmas is a particularly difficult time of year for children
to be in hospitals, so this festive period Starlight Children's
Foundation delivered a welcome dose of escapism and entertainment
to children on Neptune Ward with its pop-up pantomime, Dick
Whittington and His Cat.
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.
Lisa Kawa-Akenbo, Health Play Specialist at Southend University
Hospital, said: "We know that play can significantly help to
improve a child's hospital experience and we are very grateful to
Starlight's Christmas Pantomime for helping restore some festive
fun to the ward. It provides our young patients with a welcome
break from treatment and allows them to forget about their illness
for a short while and experience the magic of Christmas; something
that every child deserves."
Every year, Starlight provides entertainment and distraction to
over half a million poorly children and the Starlight Christmas
Pantomime will give hundreds of these children the chance to forget
their fears and surroundings and get into the festive spirit.
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
Matt Lee-Alliston, Managing Director of The Panto Company, said,
"We're thrilled to be working with Starlight to bring this
interactive performance to so many seriously ill children."