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Project information

2017 Children's Hospice Tour

Since 2009, our charity, Christmas for Kids, has provided interactive, multi-sensory shows of storytelling, song and puppetry in children's hospices across England at Christmas time. In 2017, we aim to tour our show ‘Benson's Christmas Letter’ to 45 hospices, increasing last year's outreach by 50%

November 2017 - January 2018

Charity information: Christmas For Kids

Christmas For Kids logo
  • Need


    We perform for children who have profound multiple learning difficulties, are on the autistic spectrum and/or are coping with life-limiting illness. They often find it difficult to engage, communicate or deal with day to day life.

    Most of the children require palliative care which prevents them from visiting a traditional theatre, and the hospices don't have funding to provide this kind of entertainment for them in-house.


    Our show is specifically designed for these children by using multi-sensory techniques and close up interaction; tactile props, costume and puppets; light stimuli; vocal harmonies and audience participation.

    We have created shows which we can perform in any space, including at the bedside, playing to anything from 2 to 200 audience members.

    We fundraise throughout the year in order to bring the highest quality performers and production values to the hospices, free of charge.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To entertain, stimulate & engage children with ASD, PMLD and life-limiting conditions.


    » Perform an interactive, multi-sensory show specially designed to engage and stimulate children with ASD, PMLD and life-limiting conditions.

    What success will look like

    Feedback forms from carers; debrief with actors after each show; verbal feedback on the day from parents and carers; witnessing the engagement of the children in action.

    Aim 2

    To bring high quality theatre to children's hospice environments.


    » Our show is designed to fit into any space. Our bespoke set is compact and easy to tour. Our actors are high calibre & skilled in children's theatre.

    What success will look like

    By having a thorough rehearsal process, using high quality creative team, actors, props and set. Completing a 45-venue tour and receiving positive feedback.

    Aim 3

    To bring our show to hospices and families free of charge whilst covering all production costs.


    » We fundraise throughout the year with events such as: fun-runs, bucket shakes, Crowdfunder, grant applications, corporate & individual donations

    What success will look like

    Raise enough funds throughout the year to tour to all 45 venues free of charge, and to cover all production costs and wages.

  • Impact


    Creating a positive, inclusive experience and memories for children, families and carers.

    We have been moved by the reaction of parents, who explain how important it is to have companies performing for their families who understand the needs of their children and work to include everyone. The smiles, laughter, interaction & engagement from our audience give a clear indication of how important this experience is for them, especially at Christmas which can be a difficult time for the families.


    Not securing enough funding in time for the tour. We hold a reserve fund in case of outstanding costs which will be paid for later through donations and fundraising. We also have a cut-off date for hospice bookings, allowing us to reduce the tour size if we predict we will fall short of our required income.

    We are not able to perform in the hospices if unwell due to risk of spreading infection, so we have cover options available amongst our pool of actors.


    We will send out a newsletter for all donors detailing the outcomes of the tour. We will compile both an evaluation & financial report, available on request. We will run a blog for the tour and post regularly on our website and social media platforms and will offer to speak at events.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £36,335

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £21,725 Wages Actors & Directors wages for rehearsals. Actor performance wages.
      £1,200 Set & Props Scenery, costume, props and puppets
      £2,050 Touring Allowances Performers food costs covered whilst on tour and Touring allowance outside of London
      £6,200 Travel Accommodation and travel outside of London
      £300 Insurances Employers & Public Liability Insurance
      £3,000 Administration All Admin & Marketing costs
      £1,860 Rent Storage of set and props, rehearsal room hire

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Fundraised Income £33,924 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our show reaches people from all different backgrounds. The only unifying feature is the life-limiting illness of the children and the fact that the families are dealing with the challenges of this on a day-to-day basis.
    This year we will be touring to a financial demographic ranging from Oxford and London in the South East to Newcastle and Blackpool in the North. We are pleased to have expanded from the London area, where we are based, to new Socio-economic and financial demographics.


    Our audience are service users at children's hospices in England. The children have complex needs and limited opportunity to engage with the arts, particularly theatre. Individuals are often experiencing our work for the first time. Many are not able to visit the theatre at all, so it is our mission to bring the theatre to them.

    Previous tours have played anything from 4 children and their carers in an intimate space to a Christmas party, with over 150 children, parents, and carers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been presenting our shows to our very special audience since 2009. We hone our skills and devices annually to deliver more engaging and interactive content than the previous year, guided by experience & audience feedback.
    Our charity directors Sue Appleby & Claire Sundin have over 30 years combined working in the industry, and the same teaching children. Our script writer Gareth Tempest works regularly with special needs children, and our script advisor Emma Reeves is a writer for CBBC.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sue Appleby

    Charity Director & Performer

    Claire Sundin

    Charity Director & Producer

    Katie Hecht

    Charity Administrator & Performer

Information Video


will pay for our specially designed, interactive show to play for free to one children's hospice