Strictly Come Dancing stars visit sick children at the PRUH

21 April 2016 - Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec visited the Children’s Ward

Aljaz Skorjanec with patient, Erin Clover (age 2) and mum, Sara-Jayne Clover

The Princess Royal University' Hospital's (PRUH) youngest patients received a surprise visit this week from two stars of the hit BBC TV programme, Strictly Come Dancing

Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec visited the Children’s Ward on Wednesday 20 April with Starlight Children’s Foundation, a national charity that grants wishes for seriously ill children, and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK. It was the ‘Strictly’ duo's first visit to a children’s ward since they became Starlight Ambassadors.

While on the ward, they attended a performance of the Starlight Storytellers Tour where they watched four professional actors perform interactive adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood and Pinocchio, alongside the children and their families.

After the performance Janette and Aljaz were shown around the ward where they met other patients who were too unwell to attend the performance.

Sian Spencer-Little, Specialised Play Practitioner at PRUH, who helped organise the visit, said, “A visit from the Starlight Storytellers Tour allows the children to have a sense of joy while being in hospital. It’s so important to provide distraction in a hospital environment, which can sometimes be scary for children. It was wonderful to have Starlight Ambassadors, Janette and Aljaz, join us for the performance. It was very entertaining and all the children and parents were laughing and clapping along.”

Talking about the visit, Janette said, “We are so honoured to be Ambassadors for Starlight Children’s Foundation, and it was incredible to see first-hand what Starlight does to help children. We had a brilliant morning with the kids, their parents and the hospital staff! The actors were just amazing and truly bring so much joy to the hospitals they visit.”