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Oh yes it does! Dick Whittington panto comes to Watford Hospital

Posted: 23 November 2016
Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer

Christmas is a particularly difficult time of year for children to be in hospital so this festive period, the Starlight Children’s Foundation brought a large dose of fun and laughter to Starfish and Safari children’s wards at Watford Hospital when a pop-up pantomime paid them a visit.

Picture of the cast of Dick WhittingtonChildren and their families were treated to a marvellous performance of a well-loved children’s classic when the Starlight Storytellers Tour and Panto Company came to town. This year’s pantomime was a new, fully interactive adaptation of Dick Whittington and his Cat. The young patients got to laugh, cheer and sing-a-long as four actors performed for the children, their families and staff.

Helen Cripps is a play specialist (a member of the team who uses play to help children manage fear or pain) on Starfish ward. She said: “It is well known that entertainment and play can significantly improve the experience a child has in hospital and that it helps to distract them from their illness and treatment for a short while and experience the magic of Christmas.

"Starlight is a fantastic charity and each year we look forward to seeing the Christmas panto and the fun and laughter it brings our young patients. There’s nothing like a good pantomime to capture a child’s imagination. The pantomime really gave our young patients and their families some excitement, and left them on a high. This performance of Dick Whittington was just what the doctor ordered!"

The pantomime was arranged by the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.


For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our near 5,324 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).

  1. Starlight Children’s Foundation provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK and grants wishes for children with serious and terminal illnesses. For more information on Starlight, visit www.starlight.org.uk.
  2. For more information, please contact Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  3. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.