Photo Flash: Panto Stars Visit Patients At Bristol Children's Hospital This Christmas
Young patients at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children enjoyed some special festive cheer this week, thanks to a visit from the cast of The Bristol Hippodrome's 2019 pantomime Dick Whittington and Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity.
Shane Richie and co-stars Jennie Dale, Peter Piper and David O'Reilly visited children at the hospital on Tuesday December 17th, delighting patients with their dazzling costumes and light-hearted jokes.
The visit helped cheer up children on the Caterpillar and Penguin Wards and spread joy to youngsters facing the possibility of being in hospital during the Christmas period.
Lauren and Alfie, who have been at the hospital with their daughter Evie since March, were visited by the cast on Caterpillar Ward. Lauren said: "We're going to be here over Christmas and into next year, so it was brilliant to meet the cast today, not just for me, Alfie and Evie but for all the amazing staff who have looked after us so well for the last nine months."
Former EastEnders actor Shane Richie stars as the title role in Dick Whittington at The Bristol Hippodrome, which opened on December 7th to rave reviews and runs until January 5th.
He said visiting children at the hospital was a huge privilege, adding: "Christmas is all about families. As these children are unfortunately in hospital this Christmas and cannot come to see us in Dick Whittington with their families, it's our pleasure to come and see them instead."
Mark Goninon, head of nursing at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children said: "Being in hospital over the Christmas period can be particularly difficult for our patients and their families, so welcoming the Dick Whittington cast on to our wards is a wonderful festive treat."
Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal funds cutting edge equipment, research and development facilities, a programme of arts, music and play and a range of specialist support staff at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. It also runs two family accommodation facilities, which give parents of critically ill children a home-from-home while their child is in hospital, and operates a family support programme, to help families navigate the financial, emotional and psychological stresses of having a child in hospital.
Every year at Christmas, charity supporters send messages of hope and encouragement through its Christmas Stocking Appeal, which decorate the wards and departments alongside Christmas trees and decorations.