Panto boost for children’s hospice

The magic of panto helped raise vital funds for a cash-strapped children’s hospice.

Audiences who enjoyed Cinderella at the Stiwt Theatre, in Rhos, also dug deep in aid of Hope House.

The organisation needs to raise £4 million a year to maintain their services for children with life-limiting conditions.

They have two hospices, Hope House near Oswestry and Ty Gobaith in the Conwy Valley.

The charity is currently helping more than 500 families from across North and Mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

The hospice organisation is the Stiwt’s chosen charity and on Sunday, March 4, staff from the theatre will be taking part in their 10-mile sponsored walk along the Llangollen Canal.

The panto starred ex-Big Brother favourite Nikki Grahame as the Fairy Godmother and pop heart-throb Andy Scott Lee who played Prince Charming.

Hope House Ambassador John Matthews, who lives in Rhos, was on duty virtually every day during the successful panto.

Mr Matthews, who has raised around £30,000 for the hospice over the years, paid tribute to the generosity of the panto audiences who chipped in with a total of nearly £500.

Mr Matthews said: “I’ve been doing things for charity since I was in college 40 odd years ago.

“The Stiwt helped by selling magic reindeer food and being an artist I drew my own Christmas cards which were also sold.”

Hospice fund-raiser Rachel Jones said: “John is amazing, he’s been a volunteer for us for many years, and he works tirelessly within the local community to raise the profile of Hope House and also a lot of funds for us.

“The Stiwt is making a great contribution. We’ve been their chosen charity for the panto at the Stiwt for the past two years.

“We’re looking to do more fundraising with them this year which will be fantastic.

“The Stiwt is a really important local venue and it helps raise the profile and also much needed funds.

“It’s lovely that children are helping children and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone  across the area who was an audience member who chose to put money in our tins.

“We look after over 500 families now, all facing the heartache of having a child or have had a child with a terminal illness.

“We offer respite for the families, and also a huge amount of bereavement and counselling support.

“The money is so important because it costs us about £4 million every year to keep the doors open and the services running.”

Stiwt Manager Rebecca Griffiths added:  “A children’s hospice certainly puts everything else into perspective – we really don’t know how lucky we

“The work of Hope Houses Children’s Hospices at both Oswestry and Conwy is as vital as it is amazing.

“I think what they do is really vital to enriching the lives of families who have a really tough time.

“It made sense to me that we should be helping such an important service, particularly because it’s high on our agenda to support and enrich the lives of children and young people no matter what their circumstances.”

Anybody who would like to make a donation to Hope House and Ty Gobaith should contact the fund raising office either by ringing 01691 671671 or emailing More information is also available on the website:


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