Starlight has been fighting for the power of play since 1986. Using toys, games, events and experiences, they create a sense of escape from the challenging reality in which hospitalised children find themselves. Their work aims to lessen the impact of childhood illness throughout an entire lifetime for both the children and families.

Starlight is passionate about protecting a child's right to play as part of their development. Children learning through play are more likely to have a positive experience about learning in the future as it helps them communicate and figure out who they are.

What makes Starlight different?

They focus on helping children and families find hope after a child is diagnosed with a life-changing illness.

Starlight offer Boost Boxes, including everything from all your usual toys, games, puzzles, arts and crafts, plus more. Or, Distraction Boxes, which contain toys and games to specifically tackle a child's fear to make them feel at ease. These boxes safely provide items to distract and delight children in the hospital. Their Boost Boxes, Distraction Boxes, Events and Experiences help children forget their worries and feel the joy of childhood.

As well as providing toys to children in hospitals, Starlight organises pantomime performances for the little ones and their families. The panto team put on an interactive and exciting show for kids across the country every winter, giving them another reason to smile.

Starlight also hosts day events and breaks away to continue supporting children and families outside of the hospital. Starlight Escapes, Days and Breaks are organised to help families leave their worries at the hospital, create new memories together and connect with other families who have similar interests. These events create a safe space for children, where they can freely have fun. The charity also hosts virtual parties to entertain and keep children connected with others in times of Covid-19, so the magic never has to stop.

Did you know...

  • The things you enjoyed as a child helped to make you who you are today.

  • Play helps children learn how to express their feelings and deal with their emotions.

  • Through play, kids build new relationships with others, which teaches them about the world around them, how to socialise and interact.

  • Children learn to push boundaries in play and challenge norms in their everyday life by asking questions.

Key dates to be aware of

October - National Play in Hospital Week

Although Starlight helps children in hospitals play every day, they proudly support the National Association of Health Play Specialist’s Play in Hospital Week every autumn to highlight the importance of play. They have an extra-special activity pack to celebrate the week, so it's bursting with even more fun for the little ones.

Other ways to show your support

The fastest way you can help is by donating online, but there are so many others ways you can get involved in the work at Starlight. You can fundraise for Starlight, volunteer at an event, push yourself to new extremes by taking on a challenge, donate with your company, and so much more. Without support, Starlight's impact would never have been able to reach as many children and families all across the UK.

For more information on the ways you can support Starlight, visit their how you can help page.


Third Floor 227 Shepherds Bush Road Hammersmith
W6 7AU

Contact Number

020 7262 2881