Children’s hospice creates alternative Christmas advert

Categories: Community Engagement.

Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice has launched an alternative Christmas advert to rival those of the big brands.

The moving advert features ten-year-old Summer getting ready for a festive performance with the help of hospice staff, interspersed with her rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’ on stage.

Summer has been supported by Shooting Star Chase since she was just 18 months old. She has a life-limiting condition which affects her heart and lungs, requiring her to be fed via a gastrostomy tube and breathe with a ventilator at all times. Throughout the advert, the care routine she has to go through each day is juxtaposed with the magic of her fulfilling her dream to sing on stage.

Summer’s parents Wendy and John, said:

“Summer needs 24-hour care, has a ventilator to keep her alive and is fed by a tube, but despite this she makes the most of every moment. She is incredibly resilient and determined – she didn’t even have a voice until she was four and now there’s not a day that goes by without her doing what she loves most – singing.”

The video’s central theme is the magic of Christmas, while highlighting the charity’s Hospice at Home care. For some families the service is as simple as helping parents get their child ready for a festive performance or school play, just like Summer, or making home-made Christmas cards. For others, Shooting Star Chase is there to support them through the most difficult times by providing end-of-life care.

Nigel Harding, Chief Executive at Shooting Star Chase said:

“As a father of five, I know that for most of us Christmas is a wonderful, magical time of year. Surrounded by family, it’s a time to relax, to laugh and to enjoy each other’s company. Like me, I’m sure you all have your own memories of at least one special Christmas spent with your family.

“Now imagine how difficult Christmas must be for those families who have a child with a life-limiting condition. So often they simply cannot create the Christmas we all take for granted.

“At Shooting Star Chase, not only do we support families through heart-breaking moments no parent should ever have to experience, but we help to create a special moment in time that they will be able to cherish forever. We will be helping to create those lasting memories for our supported families this Christmas.

“I hope this campaign will raise awareness of how we help those families who have nowhere else to turn and convince you to help us provide those unforgettable, magical memories that we know are so precious.”

This is the second time a family supported by Shooting Star Chase supported family has featured in an alternative Christmas advert. In 2017 the social change agency Shape History produced #FirstChristmas, an ad that raised awareness of families facing their first Christmas without a loved one.

For more information visit Shooting Star Chase