Panto stars helped put a smile on the faces of poorly children who spent the Christmas period at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

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The Starlight Children’s Foundation, a national charity that provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices, arranged for the interactive theatre group The Panto Company to visit the children as part of an eight-week tour of the country’s hospitals and hospices.

Starlight’s Sleeping Beauty was staged in the Jenny Lind children’s outpatient department on December 30.

The panto’s four actors danced and sang for the young patients, their families and the staff.

Every year, Starlight provides entertainment and distraction to over half a million poorly children and Starlight’s Christmas panto 
gives thousands of poorly children the chance to shout “He’s behind you!” from the safety of the hospital ward.

Judy Holland, play specialist at the NNUH, said: “Every year we look forward to the arrival of Starlight’s Christmas Panto.

“It’s always a really engaging show and it’s a wonderful escape for our young patients.

“Play is proven to significantly improve a poorly child’s hospital experience and Starlight’s Christmas panto is a fantastic distraction from any pain they might be feeling as a result of their illness.”

Heather Foster, who plays Aurora and the Queen in Sleeping Beauty, said: “Starlight’s Christmas panto is designed to be really engaging and entertaining for the children and we hope that the performance at NNUH gave the patients there a good dose of fun.

“From their beaming smiles, it certainly looked as though they were enjoying the show.”

The Starlight charity also 
grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes 
to children with serious and terminal illnesses, aiming to provide them with a positive focus during the 
long hours of treatment.

For more information on Starlight Children’s Foundation, visit www.starlight.org.uk.

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