The weeks running up to Christmas are always a busy time for The Chartwell Cancer Trust, the Chartwell Children’s Cancer Trust and their army of supporters and volunteers, getting involved in a wide range of fundraising activities from spectacular Christmas pantomimes and parties, to carol singing and present wrapping in The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley and collecting presents to give to children spending Christmas in hospital.

PANTO TIME
The Chartwell Children’s Cancer Trust took families from the Bromley, Frog & King’s Childhood Cancer Support Groups to see a performance of Aladdin on Sunday 8th December, at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley.

Before the show there was a Christmas Party where firm favourites, Krazy K, organised festive party games, dancing and a ‘Santa’s selfie’ booth. Our popular Charlie Chartwell joined in with the fun, as well as cheeky ‘Buddy the Elf’. The children were also given a ‘Munch Box’, which included a small gift, a programme and ice cream.

During the show, some of the parents were invited on stage, much to the delight of everyone else! Four of our children were also chosen to go on stage and completely stole the show!

Afterwards, the families had the opportunity to meet the whole cast, including Christopher Biggins who played a very funny ‘Widow Twankey’. It was a fantastic afternoon, one filled with laughter and special memories… oh yes it was!

Thank you to the Churchill Theatre Bromley for making sure everyone had such a wonderful time, and thank you to the National Lottery Community Fund for their generous grant last summer, money which has helped us to pay for taking the children to the pantomime and giving them parties.

Over in Greenwich, our Christmas treat for the children this year was to attend the pantomime Sleeping Beauty on Sunday 8th December at the Greenwich Theatre. The show was so much fun and the children and parents had a great time. All of the children got involved with singing, dancing and interacting with the show. After the show, the staff waited for the other guests to leave the theatre so that our families could spend some time with the cast! The children asked lots of questions and had their photos taken. Later in the month, on Friday 20th December, a group of children from our children’s groups went to Oakley House, Bromley Common, where they enjoyed seeing Jack and the Beanstalk. ‘Thank you’ Oakley House for kindly donating the tickets to The CCT.

CAROL SINGING IN THE GLADES
Also on the 8th December, The CCT held a Christmas concert in The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley, which was a fantastic success. Bromley’s shoppers were entertained by the magical voices of The Kentones and the Valley Primary School Choir.

With the help of our amazing team of volunteers and the generosity of shoppers, an impressive £823.24 was raised in the space of two hours! ‘Thank you’ so much to those who donated and to both choirs, who were so good and have such lovely voices. A big ‘thank you’ too, to all of our amazing volunteers who gave up their time to do the bucket collecting, as we really couldn’t do it without them.

PARTY TIME…
The Chartwell Children’s Cancer Trust held a Christmas Party in Croydon University Hospital for oncology families on Wednesday 5th December. Entertainment was by Theatre Bugs, who performed an amazing show, The Twinkling Star, followed by music, dancing and festive party games!

The afternoon finished with a party tea and, of course, a visit by Santa who handed out Christmas Gifts to the children. It was a fantastic afternoon, one filled with laughter and special memories. ‘Thank you’ to @theatrebugs for making sure everyone had such a wonderful time.

CHRISTMAS TOY APPEAL
On Thursday 19th December, Michelle Simpson from The CCT, delivered sacks full of Christmas presents to ‘Toni & Guy Ward’ in King’s College Hospital for all the children that were in hospital over the Christmas period and currently being treated on the ward. The wonderful presents had been donated to our Christmas Toy Appeal, so ‘thank you’ to everyone who donated.

Sarah from the charity ‘Children’s Hospital Pyjamas’, joined Michelle and donated lovely pyjamas for the ward too.

We would also like to thank Starbucks at Greenwich Shopping Park for supporting The CCCT once again with their Angel Appeal Christmas Tree. Customers picked an angel from the tree with the age and gender of a child, bought a gift, wrapped it and placed it under the tree. All were then collected by Santa and taken to the Tiger Ward and handed out to the children.
Also collecting Christmas presents for the groups were many of our regular supporters including The Swan, West Wickham; Signature Flight Support, Biggin Hill Airport; The Glades, Bromley; Autoflame Engineering Ltd, Biggin Hill Airport; Paula Cook; Bromley Ambulance Station NHS, Paramedic Nigel Flanagan; and Direct Line Group, Bromley.

THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
With the help of our amazing volunteers, The CCT was busy gift wrapping in the Glades during the final week before Christmas.

We were joined each day by two teams, made up of our regular helpers, plus people from Direct Line Group and Metro Bank, Bromley, who used their volunteering days to help us.

We had a great time, showing off our wrapping skills, with our most challenging gift being a 6ft wooden giraffe and our largest, being a huge painted canvas.
‘Thank you’ to The Glades for having us in to help and also for their generous donation. We raised an impressive £912.52!

On Sunday 22nd December we were also busy ‘bag packing’ at Sainsbury’s, Locksbottom. ‘Thank you’ to Sainsbury’s and to the shoppers for their generosity.
Throughout December supporters also enjoyed the magical Mickleham Christmas Lights. Residents Terry and Pat Batney at No. 5, and Steve and Lesley Parkins at No. 4, put on their spectacular display of lights for the fifth consecutive year and raised an amazing £2,206.65 for The CCT and The CCCT.

THE SANTA EXPRESS
On Sunday 15th December our younger children went on a magical mystical, Santa Express journey to see Father Christmas.

Our little passengers for The Santa Express checked in at The Glades Station ticket office, located in the main atrium, where they were met by the Station Master and received their special Santa Express train ticket. Once on board the passengers were guided by The Santa Express Engineers, as they explored and made their way through the train. Along the way, the little passengers could write a postcard to Santa and tell him their favourite thing about the festive season, before they headed to the engine room to meet the main man himself; Santa Claus.

Here they grabbed a ‘Santa Selfie’ and told him all their Christmas wishes. They were then given a cuddly toy and some reindeer food to take home with them.

A big ‘thank you’ to The Glades and all the Santa Express team who hosted our group in a private session and for making it all really special for everyone.