At Starlight we help seriously ill children and their families create magical memories year-round, but it is especially important at this festive time of year. That’s why we’ve had a jam-packed schedule of incredible Starlight Escapes, wish trips and hospital services to provide unforgettable moments of festive fun this Christmas!
First up was Starlight’s 10th annual Christmas Party, where over 100 guests arrived at a venue fit for royalty for a children’s party like no other! Hosted by Hampton Court Palace, guests stepped into a winter wonderland complete with a giant snow globe, reindeer and sleigh! Inside they were treated to face painting, entertainment, disco dancing and, of course, Santa’s grotto!
Logan’s dad Malcolm shared just why days like this are so important for the family:
“Children like Logan can’t do the everyday things people take for granted. Everything at a Starlight Escape is geared towards different abilities and everyone can join in. It’s amazing, everyone at Starlight makes you feel so welcome. It’s like an extended family.”
Meanwhile 13 families spent three days searching for Santa on our group wish trip to Lapland. They began their search with reindeer and husky rides through the snow-covered forests to look for clues. With a little help from the special Lapland elves, they found Santa’s Post office and saw just how everyone’s letters from across the world are delivered to Lapland. Finally, after a thrilling snow mobile ride to the elves’ house, they found the man himself!
Five-year-old Sebastian has had a tough few years of treatment after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumour that starts in the lower part of the brain. He loves animals and his Starlight wish was to see huskies and Santa’s reindeer in the wild. Abigail’s mum told Starlight just how much the trip meant to them as a family:
“When we were referred for a wish we were in the middle of treatment and were having a really tough time. Starlight were able to support us as a family and give us something to look forward to. It has been unbelievable. We are so grateful to be here in this beautiful place together with other wonderful families going through similar things to us. We will never forget it, so thank you.”
Back in the UK, our Starlight’s touring pantomime are transporting children in hospital and hospices across the country to a whole new world with their production of Aladdin. This year there will be an estimated 200,000 children spending the Christmas period in hospital. Starlight’s magical tale of the rags-to-riches prince and his wish-granting genie aims to provide children with a chance to escape the reality of their hospital stay and join in with the festive fun they may otherwise be missing.
Thank you to everyone who has donated, fundraised or supported Starlight in 2019. You have helped bring festive joy to seriously ill children and their families and we could not do it without you.
You can help Starlight create more magical memories, both at Christmas and throughout the year, by donating here.
From everyone here at Starlight we wish you all a very merry Christmas!