Brainbow Zooms ahead with Christmas event

A Brainbow patient playing a present stacking game with his friends and family at last year’s event at Swynford Manor

Young Addenbrooke’s Hospital patients are to have a cracking Christmas event this year, despite the pandemic.

Thanks to a team effort between rehabilitation service Brainbow and professional services firm PwC, more than 100 children at home or in hospital will enjoy a virtual event complete with its own Santa.

A courier will speed boxes of crafts and treats to every home or bedside and at 10am today (21 December),  young guests will log in and find themselves together in a virtual Christmas  event.

At points they will be transferred into “break-out” rooms for games and activities led by volunteers play leaders from PwC, which is also helping with the technology involved and gifts.

There will be a visit by Santa and a special appearance by cuddly meerkats and their handlers – a treat for children whose condition means they rarely mix with animals.

Brainbow is a partnership between independent charities – Anna’s Hope, Camille’s Appeal, Tom’s Trust, and more recently, Joshua Tarrant Trust.

The service, founded in 2013, works with Addenbrooke’s – part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - to fund and provide a pioneering rehabilitation service for children with brain tumours.

It consists of a multi-disciplinary team which includes physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, and education.  The team is supported by admin and management, as well as a clinical lead, paediatric oncologist, Dr Amos Burke.

Brainbow service delivery manager, Laura Howden, said: “We want to say a special thank you to everyone who is working so hard to make this year’s Brainbow Christmas event special despite all the social distancing rules.

“It means children will get the chance to socialise, have fun and stretch themselves creatively, which is such an important aspect of the rehabilitation we provide.”

Anyone who wants to learn more about Brainbow, or make a donation to the charities that support it, can visit

Image: A Brainbow patient playing a present stacking game with his friends and family at last year’s event at Swynford Manor


Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust