Christmas comes to Downing Street

We are well and truly in the festive spirit after our incredible final Starlight Escape of the year. For the 9th year in a row, Starlight teamed up with the team at Number 11 Downing Street to host a magical Christmas party for seriously ill children and their families.

The party kicked off outside where 45 children and their families were treated to carols sung by a choir from the Royal College of Music while they had the chance to get their picture taken in front of the Downing Street Christmas Tree and the iconic doors of Number 11!

The families were then welcomed into the warmth where a host of activities awaited, including festive arts and crafts, Gastronaut Stefan Gates, magician Archie Manners and Miss Ballooniverse. Downing Street very kindly allowed Father Christmas himself to set up his grotto in their front room for the afternoon, before he rushed back to Lapland for his final preparations for the big day!

If you listened very carefully you could hear the sounds of the TARDIS parking itself of the grounds of Number 11 as the Doctor herself Jodie Whittaker came to tell tales of space and time to her avid listeners!

It was truly a family affair as Capital FM DJ Roman Kemp joined us once again and made sure everyone was taking to the dance floor, this time with his Mum and Dad in tow! Martin and Shirlie Kemp were there to watch their son in action, as well as chatting with the other parents about the impact Starlight has had on their families.

Many more friends of Starlight came to join the party including Beverley Knight, Harry and Izzy Judd, Rosie Marcel, Love Island’s Dr Alex George and The X-Factor’s Shan Ako, Bella Penfold and Misunderstood.

One particularly special moment came when Ebony-Mae, whose wish was to meet Holby City’s Rosie Marcel, treated the crowd to an incredible operatic song!

Thank you so much for an absolutely amazing afternoon! Oscar and I had a brilliant time. Everyone was so friendly… it will be a day we’ll never forget.

A massive thank you to The Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP for inviting us into his home and hosting such an unforgettable escape.

You can find out more about the escapes Starlight host for children and their families, providing them with a break from the routine and the reality of living with serious illness and life-threatening conditions and how you can help support here.