This year's Christmas Carol Service saw a record 670 guests take to the pews of the stunning St Marylebone Parish Church, London, to celebrate the start of the festive season. Thanks to their generosity, an incredible £11,280 was raised to help support families this Christmas.
Our fourth annual Christmas Carol Service took place in a new venue after record ticket sales saw The Sick Children's Trust outgrow its previous venue, All Hallows Church in the City.
The service saw celebrity readers Zoe Wanamaker, Sarah Alexander, Sam Bailey and Christine Hamilton share their favourite seasonal readings, while 2012 Britain's Got Talent star Charlotte Jaconelli performed two beautiful solos, accompanied by pianist Dr Tanya Ursova. The Choir of Boucher Primary School once again sang with us and shared two songs they has specially prepared for the occasion.
It was also our pleasure to welcome Cissy Adamou, whose family stayed at our Crawford House in Newcastle when Cissy underwent a heart transplant at Freeman Hospital. Cissy recently won a Pride of Britain Award, so it was wonderful to celebrate her health and happiness.
While guests enjoyed the performances and sang favourite Christmas carols, the event also had a more serious message. We remembered the many families who will spend this Christmas in our 'Homes from Home': families who rely on The Sick Children's Trust so they can stay together at such an important time.
Our Family Ambassador Claire O'Brien gave her own moving account of staying at Stevenson House last Christmas, when her daughter Eva was born prematurely and needed lifesaving treatment.
This year, we will support around 146 families at Christmas and the money raised through our Christmas Carol Service will ensure we can spread a little magic and sparkle to make their time with us as special as possible.