Spread a Smile appoints new Family Events Coordinator and Fundraising Manager

SPREAD a Smile, the charity on a mission to bring joy and laughter to seriously ill children in hospital via talented entertainers including musicians, artists, magicians and therapy dogs, has appointed Gary Broadway as Family Events Coordinator and Natasha Mann as Community Fundraising Manager.

Gary previously worked in the Play Team at Kingston Hospital, providing activities, entertainment, play opportunities and themed events for inpatients during their treatment.  Whilst there Gary experienced Spread a Smile’s entertainers first-hand during a visit and when he saw the role advertised at Spread a Smile, leapt at the opportunity.

Gary will work with the charity’s Head of Family Events to create magical and memorable events for seriously ill children, young people and their families, providing rare opportunities for them to spend some quality time together out of hospital. These include theatre trips, cinema visits, afternoon tea and VR gaming. Gary will also be instrumental in the delivery of the annual Spread a Smile Summer and Winter Parties.

Day to day, Gary will work closely with event and entertainment partners, sourcing venues, and gifts, booking entertainers, arranging treats and food, and ensuring every detail is considered, to ensure all families have a wonderful day out with Spread a Smile.

Of his appointment, Broadway said:

“I felt my experience of working in hospitals and trying to create magical moments aligned with Spread a Smile’s goals. I’m very excited to work with all our amazing families, help organise more memorable events and help make more children and young people smile! It really is a special place to work.”

Joining with a background in community and events fundraising, Natasha takes on the important role of Community Fundraising Manager, following a career in the public sector having held fundraising roles at Sense and Moorfields Eye Charity.

Mann will oversee all community fundraising which can include anything from local bake sales to school fundraising, bike rides, or ultra marathons. Spread a Smile fundraisers are incredibly important to the charity and Mann will work closely with individuals, local businesses, schools, faith groups and Spread a Smile families to support their aims. She will also oversee a calendar of bespoke Spread a Smile fundraising initiatives alongside different challenge events, ranging from marathons to treks and cycles.

Of her appointment, Mann said:

“I am delighted to be part of the Spread a Smile team. I am already really enjoying working closely with our wonderful supporters and fundraisers.”

Lucy Jackson, Spread a Smile Chief Executive said:

“The demand for Spread a Smile’s services is forever growing and it is our aim to be there for as many families who need us as possible. We are thrilled to welcome both Gary and Natasha who will head up our very important liaison roles, helping the charity further grow, achieve and succeed, fulfilling our charitable aims to the highest possible standard.”

In 2024-25, Spread a Smile will deliver over 13,200 in-person bedside visits and over 2,640 virtual visits, in partnership with 32 NHS hospitals and five hospice partners, with the aim of increasing the number of partners to 45 this year.

Spread a Smile brings joy and laughter to seriously ill children in hospitals and hospices across the UK.

Since 2013, when the charity was founded, it has built a reputation for developing bespoke relationships with each family and each health setting, so that it can offer the most impactful support. The Spread a Smile work delivers a meaningful change to each child’s well-being, mental health and recovery process.