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Young patients at #Southend hospital welcome Starlight Christmas Panto stars

14 Dec Young patients at #Southend hospital welcome Starlight Christmas Panto stars

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 period.”
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.”