‘Spread a Smile’ are a London – based charity founded in 2013. Spread a Smile provides entertainment including fairies, magicians, face-painters, singers, therapy dogs, children’s characters, celebrities and theatre visits to critically ill children across nine London hospitals. The charity organises over 40 hospital visits a month, brightening the lives of more than 7,200 children a year (that’s 600 per month). As part of the Grant Programme, Bregal donates substantially to Spread a Smile, and the team are also supporting the charity’s events. In addition, many of Bregal Milestone’s closest advisors generously agree to donate a share of their transaction fees to Spread a Smile.
“Children and young people in long term treatment spend extended periods of time in hospitals which can result in feelings of isolation and sadness.”
Further to his participation at a January event with Spread a Smile, Bregal Milestone Managing Partner, Cyrus Shey, commented: “The Bregal Milestone team were very impressed by the founders of Spread a Smile on their dedication and commitment to brightening up the lives of severely ill children and of their families. This is such an admirable cause, as it gives the families some temporary relief, along with the priceless joy of seeing their child smile again. What’s more, the children can look forward to the entertainers’ visit for several days in advance, which takes their mind off the worries and fears they are going through with their illness and treatment.”
Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile’s CEO responded: “Children and young people in long term treatment spend extended periods of time in hospitals which can result in feelings of isolation and sadness. Spread a Smile uses entertainment and play to engage with them, have fun, reduce anxieties and return some normality to their lives. We are incredibly thankful and proud to be working in partnership with Bregal Milestone to improve the quality of life of many more children.”
On October 30th, Jan Bruennler, Shafali Gupta and Marion Depré joined Spread a Smile at London’s University College Hospital in order to deliver some Halloween treats and bring some smiles to the children who are living under strict isolation measures due to the pandemic.
Spread a Smile and five of their entertainers visited young cancer patients at the Royal Marsden Hospital in early January, along with Cyrus Shey, Francesco Canessa, Sebastian Charpentier & Saachi Oza from the Milestone team.
Until Hospital visits were suspended from earlier this year due to the coronavirus, Spread a Smile were attending to seriously and terminally ill children and teenagers in hospital by providing entertainment including fairies, magicians, face painters, singers, artists, therapy dogs, children’s characters and celebrities. They would also organise parties and family trips to the theatre, concerts and other events.
Spread a Smile are proud to work with Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, King’s College Hospital and The Royal Marsden Hospital as well as Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
We are so proud of Spread a Smile’s new initiatives during these challenging times.
Suspending hospital visits does not mean suspending smiles, and with this in mind, Spread a Smile will continue to deliver their regular ‘treat’ drops such as popcorn, jellies & ice cream to their partner hospitals for distribution by hospital staff.
As part of their new initiatives, the charity has also launched Smile TV – an online platform accessed via their website to feature:
Pre-recorded performances and entertainment from their teams of entertainers including musicians, magicians, poets, fairies and singers;
Personalised live interactions between entertainers and hospitalised children and teenagers at a pre-arranged time for children who particularly need a smile;
Live web casts from their entertainment teams providing a constant supply of new content;
Video footage of celebrities reading a story, reciting a poem, telling a joke or sending a short message;
Art content, tuition and examples for children working on art activities supplied by Spread a Smile.
If you would like to support Spread a Smile in their new initiatives, please visit their COVID-19 appeal page to make a donation: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/spreadasmile-covid19appeal
Bregal Milestone are also extremely grateful to all our advisors who have kindly chosen to make a 1% donation of their fees to Spread a Smile.