Christmas for Kids is raising funds to take our uplifting show of song, storytelling and puppetry to fourteen children's hospices FOR FREE this Christmas. We are a collective of actors and creatives who are passionate about bringing joy, fun and escapism to sick children and their families at what can be a challenging time of year. The collective came together in 2009, and the show and its tour base has been growing ever since. Last year we were delighted to visit eight hospices, and with your help, this year we would like to take the show on tour to fourteen hospices - the most we have ever toured to, reaching from London to Birmingham, Devon to Oxford. This year we were thrilled to be awarded Charitable Status by the Charities Commission. Our Registered Charity Number is 1162812.
"Events like this are so important, especially in the run up to Christmas which is a really difficult time for the families. To bring some joy and laughter into the hospices makes such a huge difference, not just for the kids themselves but their families and siblings who are coping with a very traumatic situation.
The hospices don't have the funding to provide this kind of entertainment for the kids, so to have companies like 'Christmas for Kids' coming in to do it for free is a godsend for them."
Rebecca Dickson, Palliative Care Nurse Specialist, SE England
Our show comprises singing, instrumental music (both played to the children and interactive), storytelling and puppetry and is specifically designed to stimulate, calm and engage children of all ages. We have designed the show with particular focus on those with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), children on the autistic spectrum (ASD) and those with life-limiting illnesses. The entertainment value of the shows also provides respite for the families and carers present.
Our puppets, Benson and Harry, are a real hit with the children. We always include a walkabout with them at the end of the show so that the children can interact with them even more closely!
The feedback we receive from the hospice care teams is extremely positive, and the carers are often surprised by the levels of engagement and communication we manage to achieve from even agitated and withdrawn children:
"The cast were exceptional after the show, taking round the puppets so that the children could touch them, as well as giving children prop items and instruments to play" - Barbie Hibberd, Shooting Star Chase
"(They) appreciated the sensory aspects including singing, music, colour, hand movements and dance. It was clear by the expressions on their faces that both the children and parents really enjoyed the show" - Tina Humphreys, CHYPS
We are crowdfunding to cover travel to each hospice for three people (car and public transport); a new sound system suitable for bigger venues; props and sensory stimuli for the children; a modest performance fee for each of the actors, and presents for each of the hospices.
Please help us to make this year's tour bigger and better than ever before!