Stars from Theatre Royal’s annual Christmas pantomime brought presents and sweets along for patients and staff members at Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
Accompanied by fire fighters from Arnold Fire Station and Santa and Mrs Claus, comedian Joe Pasquale and pantomime cast member Lucy Evans visited Nottingham Children’s Hospital to spread festive cheer to children who may be spending Christmas in hospital.
TV comedian Joe Pasquale, who was crowned King of the Jungle in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in 2014, said: “We try and do this every year in panto to get out visiting the kids who are poorly in hospital and cannot come and watch the show. It’s really uplifting and quite emotional at the same time being here and talking to the kids.”
The group visited several wards in the Children’s Hospital gifting stuffed toys donated by IKEA and toys, sweets and treats provided by Tesco, during a rare break between shows.
Joe Pasquale is playing the part of pirate Smee, Captain Hook’s buddy in this year’s pantomime performance, alongside Lucy who plays Peter Pan’s right-hand fairy Tinker Bell. Both came dressed in their full, sparkly costumes after their ninth show so far in Nottingham.
Joe added: “Visiting these little ones really makes you forget all about your own problems as some of these kids won’t be able to go home for Christmas this year because they are too poorly and to see just one of their little faces light up when they see us in our costumes and gifts at this time of year is fantastic.”
Arnold Fire station in partnership with Theatre Royal and teams have delivered gifts to the hospital for the last 15 years around Christmas time.
Claire Hardy, Children’s Play specialist at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, praised the panto stars, saying: “It’s fantastic to see the stars from one a children’s best loved children fairy tales visiting the Children’s Hospital. The pantomime visit is something our patients and staff members look forward to as it touches the lives of patients, families and the staff at this time of year.
“We really appreciate that they take time out of their busy show schedule to come and see the children and young people, who might not otherwise get a chance to experience these kinds of festivities.”
Ian Day, Fire Fighter at Arnold Fire Station said: “It is amazing to be able to continue to do this as it is so heart-warming for all those involved and it’s great to see the kid’s surprised and excited faces.”