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Northwick Park partners with charity to ‘Spread a Smile’ to children in Harrow

Spread a Smile today announced its newest London partner, our very own Northwick Park Hospital!

Children and their relatives are now invited to the Spread a Smile family with the partnership allowing smiles to be spread widely to children across the hospital, initially in person via its Oncology Clinics, and later on will widen to include Jack’s Place, its inpatient wards.

Currently the Spread a Smile team visits monthly, celebrating with children who are finishing cancer treatment, providing an added treat for them.

Northwick Park joins the Spread a Smile support roster, alongside its other major and speciality London hospital partners. Spread a Smile’s mission is to bring joy and hope to sick children in hospitals, clinical settings, hospices and homes across the UK and this partnership takes them one step closer.

As well as plans for wider visits to the inpatient wards, its team is already supporting the oncology clinic where patients ring the end of treatment bell, and they spend quality time with each patient, as well running virtual events which included recently, visits from the Easter Bunny.

The virtual visits, alongside the in-person sessions allow the team to see as many patients as possible.  All with the aim of spreading hundreds of smiles every single year and as the last of the pandemic restrictions ease, the team will also be able to visit and see patients treated for haematology conditions such as sickle cell disease, diabetes and more.

Children at Northwick Park NHS hospital will be invited to join weekly virtual group hospital visits from entertainers, take part in themed activity days that include key calendar hook events linked to Halloween and Christmas, with a Christmas Grotto already in the planning, as well as receive surprise treat drops like ice cream on World Ice Cream Day.

Families of long-term patients will also be able to book one-on-one sessions with Spread a Smile’s wonderful entertainers and will also receive delivery of post-procedure treat boxes as the in-patient access increases on site.

Miriam Sager, Paediatric Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist said of the partnership: “The Spread a smile team have been invaluable already.  We’ve been truly blown away by their amazing input, thought and care into wanting to support our children and their families.

“We were lucky enough to arrange for the talented Ian and Ellie to come visit us on a day when a little girl was finishing her cancer treatment and ringing the end of treatment bell.

“Ellie, dressed as a fairy sang Disney songs alongside Ian who was doing magic and blowing balloons.  There truly was pure happiness and joy in the air.  The wonderful Spread a smile team enhanced the clinic that day and lifted the mood. The visits since have been fantastic and we all look forward to them.”

Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile CEO, added: “We are delighted to be providing monthly in-person entertainer visits to the paediatric oncology clinic at Northwick Park Hospital as well as patients participating in our virtual offering.

“Our in-person visits have been extra special because we have visited on days when children are ringing the bell to signify the end of a long journey of cancer treatment. Our support to the young oncology patients at Northwick Park Hospital is all about making their experience in hospital a more positive one and distracting them from challenging treatments and procedures!”