Young patients at a surrey hospital sung along to Disney classics as Prince Aladdin and Princess Jasmine paid them a special visit.
Children on Hascombe ward at Royal Surrey County Hospital had a very exciting visit from actors at Starlight Children’s Foundation as they brought some pantomime cheer to the wards.
The children were treated to an hour long performance of the classic story Aladdin to get in the Christmas spirit and provide a welcome distraction from what can sometimes be a scary time.
In order to not leave patients out who were not able to leave their beds, Starlight brought along two robots that were placed in the audience and that allowed two extra children to watch, interact and sing along from bed by using a monitor. Starlight are trailing new digital services using these robots called AV1, which keeps children connected, from the company No Isolation.
The Trust is the first to trial these innovative robots and they were a huge success with the two patients who used them.
Senal Soyer, Matron of Hascombe ward first contacted the charity in May to see if they were available to visit the Trust.
Senal said, "I am so pleased that Starlight agreed to come along and put on a performance for our young patients as we know just how scary hospital can sometimes be for adults, let alone children.
"We wanted to bring a bit of sparkle to the ward and the team at Starlight certainly did that – there is no better way to bring some festive cheer than a pantomime!
"I just want to say a huge thank you to the team at Starlight – your work makes such a positive difference to the experience of our patients."
Mia Down, whose 10 month year old son Nathaniel bopped along to the performance said: "Nathaniel is normally full of beans and wanting to move around everywhere, but he was completely captivated throughout the whole show. He loved it and it was a welcome distraction for me and I am sure for other parents and/or carers."
Dr Krutika Pau, Director of Children’s Services at Starlight remarked "There will be 200,000 children in hospitals during the Christmas period this year. Starlight provide a range of hospital services, including a touring pantomime.
"The Starlight pantomime will visit over 90 hospitals and hospices across the UK over a 3-month period. Our aim is to preserve childhood throughout serious illness and hospital stays. The impact of the services we provide is very important and we are delighted to see the positive affect the pantomime has on children and their families and the hospital staff.
"Starlight provide services to help families in hospital or affected by serious illness to create magical moments and memories throughout the entire year, but it’s especially important at this busy and festive time of year."
Starlight Children’s Foundation is the national children’s charity that exists to preserve childhood throughout serious illness, via a unique combination of services which range from hospital services, events and wish granting.