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Pantomime treat cheers up young hospital patients
Buy this photo » Joe Mccombe performs as The Panto Company put on a performance of Sleeping Beauty at GWH children’s ward
OH YES they did receive a special treat on the children’s ward yesterday, when youngsters enjoyed a pantomime performance of Sleeping Beauty.
Interactive theatre group The Panto Company visited the Great Western Hospital to stage its summer pantomime, and it was smiles all round as youngsters, parents and staff enjoyed the welcome break from hospital life.
Theresa Wyatt, Play Specialist at GWH, said: “We’ve had pantomimes here three or four times over the last couple of years.
“It’s been really good. A lot of the children on the ward are here for treatment and it’s just something a bit different.
“It breaks up the day and it aids their recovery. It’s just a change of scenery for the children.
“It is known that entertainment and play can significantly improve a poorly child’s hospital experience and that it helps to distract them from their illness and treatment. Starlight is a fantastic charity and each year we look forward to the arrival of the Starlight summer panto and the fun and laughter it brings our young patients.”
Although the sun is shining, many children don’t get the chance to enjoy the summer as they wait to receive treatment in hospitals and hospices.
Summer pantomime is sometimes just the thing to take their minds off it all.
Mum Hayley Pugh, of Wroughton, whose 13-month-old son is staying on the children’s ward, was one of the many parents who had brought their children along to enjoy the afternoon show.
The 34-year-old, who works as a payments handler, said: “I think it’s brilliant.
“It’s really good for the kids. They need a bit of distraction.”
The Panto Company, comprising of Hayley Bryant as Fairy Nuff, Kayleigh Ashdown as Araura, Joe Mccombe as the Prince and Lewis Jobson as Giggles, came to the GWH as part of its eight week tour of hospitals and hospices around the country.
Hayley said: “We do it so the kids’ time in the hospital is a little bit easier. Every audience is different and we really enjoy taking part.”
Every year, Starlight provides entertainment and distraction to over half a million poorly children.
The charity also grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes to children with serious and terminal illnesses. A Starlight wish gives a seriously ill child and their family a positive focus during the long hours of treatment and happy memories to treasure.
For more information on Starlight Children’s Foundation visit the website, which can be found at www.starlight.org.uk.
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