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Starlight brings a dose of festive fun to Durham Hospital with Christmas panto

Thousands of children spend time in hospitals and hospices over Christmas and Starlight Children's Foundation has been working hard to restore the magic of the festive season to these children and their families with its recently-launched Christmas of Happiness Campaign.   

As part of The Starlight Christmas of Happiness, poorly children across the country will be able to enjoy a wonderful performance of Aladdin from the safety of the hospital ward.  Created exclusively for the charity by theatre group The Panto Company, the eight-week panto tour will visit 100 hospitals and hospices, bringing festive fun and entertainment to sick children and their families throughout the UK.

While transporting every hospital audience to Aladdin's magical world, each interactive performance will give seriously ill children a chance to escape the pain and anxiety that they can feel as a result of their illnesses and simply have a bit of fun.   

This week, the children's ward at University Hospital of North Durham is delighted to welcome the panto company. Colin Smith, Matron on the Treetops ward said: "This time of year can be a really difficult time for children who are in hospital and Starlight's pantomime really gives our young patients and their families something to look forward to.  While the panto can really help cheer up a poorly child's day, it can also help to take their minds off their illness and this in turn can have a positive effect on their condition and response to treatment."

Claire Farr, who plays Wishy Washy, said, "We are thrilled to support Starlight's Christmas of Happiness with the pantomime tour.  The aim of the panto is to bring some much needed fun and entertainment to the many poorly children that are stuck in hospitals and hospices over Christmas and we really hope that they all enjoy the show!"

To find out more about the Starlight Christmas of Happiness, go online at  To make a donation, please text WISH to 70123 to donate £3 to Starlight or to refer a child or to make an online donation go to For every £1 you donate over 91p goes towards helping Starlight's very ill children.

Published: 5 January 2012

'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital