Children took real shine to Starlight

Swindon Advertiser: An excited young audience at Great Western Hospital An excited young audience at Great Western Hospital

IT WAS presents galore at the Great Western Hospital as scores of young patients celebrated the festive season at a pre-Christmas bonanza.

Nearly 60 little ones forced to spend the holidays at the Children’s Unit, as well as pupils from Brimble Hill Special School, were treated to mounds of small gifts, scrummy cakes and a busy programme of games and activities, courtesy of the Swindon Lions Club on Sunday.

The organisation sponsored the Starlight Children’s Foundation, whose volunteers and staff entertain sick children in hospitals and hospices across the country, to throw a memorable party and bring a heavy dose of Christmas cheer to GWH’s youngest patients at a very frightening time in their lives.

The children enjoyed plenty of festive fun, with a delicious Christmas tea, goodie bags filled with treats, a pantomime performance and breakdance showcase to crown an already glorious day.

Swindon Advertiser:

Starlight Childrens Foundation and Swindon Lions Club organised a Christmas panto and party for children at the Great Western Hospital. Pictured are panto company Simply Smiley Production, left to right, Jenny Kondol, Maurice Watson, Lions, Chloe Driver, Anne Robathan, Lions and Chris Biddle

 

Swindon Lions past president Maurice Watson said the event was as popular as the group had hoped.

“It went very well and the children really liked the pantomime,” he said.

“We even had some youngsters doing breakdancing for the children and the people who put on the panto made balloon animals.

“No time is a good time to be in hospital but Christmas is the worst time for children to be in hospital.

“We wanted to do something for the children and we always look at whatever we can do for those less fortunate than ourselves at Christmas.

“We just want to help our community as best we can. The children and their parents were very pleased.”

Watching patients’ beaming faces during the extravaganza was a pleasure for hospital staff, who constantly strive to make children’s often daunting stay as relaxing and stress-free as possible.

Theresa Wyatt, play specialist at GWH, said: “Play makes a huge difference to children in hospital and throughout the year we are focused on improving the hospital experience of the young patients at Great Western Hospital,” she said.

“The festive season can be particularly tough for children who are poorly and we are very grateful to Swindon Lions Club and Starlight for enabling us to host this event.”

For more information on Swindon Lions Club contact Thelma Potts on president@swindonlions.org.uk To donate new toys to the Children’s Unit call 01793 604020 and ask for Theresa Wyatt or email fundraising @gwh.nhs.uk.

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