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Families enjoy an afternoon of festive fun at Rays of Sunshine’s Manchester Christmas Party at Citylabs

THIS WEEKEND, more than 120 seriously ill children and their families enjoyed a fun-filled day at an exclusive Christmas party at Citylabs in Manchester, thanks to Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity,

Rays of Sunshine children’s charity was formed in 2003 to brighten the lives of seriously ill young people and their families across the UK by granting wishes and providing ongoing support in hospital and within the community. The charity’s work creates a positive distraction, reduces isolation, improves self-esteem and creates precious memories and smiles. The Manchester Christmas Party, which is organised by a group of dedicated volunteers, is an annual event for seriously ill children and their families across the north of the UK.

From a creation station with arts and crafts, glitter makeovers, face painting, balloon making, caricature artists, airbrush tattoos, a bouncy castle, and even a disco to get the whole family dancing, the party was jam-packed and full of fun for the families.  If this wasn’t enough, the children could also enjoy taking pictures in the fun photo booth, or eating lots of party food, including candy floss and popcorn.

There was also plenty of live entertainment on the day including a pantomime Christmas show, circus performers, ‘Strictly’-type dancing, magicians and a Santa’s Grotto where children had the opportunity to tell Santa what they fancy for Christmas this year and take home a gift.

This year Rays of Sunshine was extremely grateful to receive generous donations from local companies across the Manchester, including Citylabs, Sambro Inc., Singleton Trading, Beauty Bay and many more*.

Sally Levy, who coordinated the event with her team of volunteers, said:

“The Christmas party is always the highlight of our year. It’s amazing to be able to bring together so many of the families we support for a day of festive fun and entertainment. We’re so thankful to Citylabs for continuously going above and beyond the call of duty to help us put on this special event. It’s our fifth year at the venue and not only do they donate the space for free, they also always go the extra mile to make sure everything runs smoothly. I would also like to thank Gabrielle and Niki, who generously volunteer their time and are my right-hand girls – I could not have done this without you.”

Jane Sharpe, CEO of Rays of Sunshine, also commented:

“It’s amazing to be able to bring together so many of our wish families in Manchester for this special festive party. You can see from the smiles on everyone’s faces just how much fun everyone had at the party. Every day of the year, Rays of Sunshine works hard to create precious memories and this Christmas party is no exception.  A huge thanks must go to Sally and her team of passionate and dedicated volunteers for putting on another magical event.” 


*Manchester Christmas party products and services donated by:

  • Emily and Mark Samuels at Sambro Int. donated gifts
  • Marc Sivner at Singleton Trading donated gifts
  • David Gabbie at Beauty Bay donated gifts
  • Andrew Howarth donated water, drinks and toys
  • Darren and Louise Proctor donated toys
  • Citylabs donated the venue and food
  • Simon Showman Ultimate Products donated teen gifts
  • Martin Bramley Euro Wrap donated wrapping paper
  • Alice Halstead and Bradleys County Primary School donated gifts from a community gift collection
  • Steven Bentwood at Party Delights donated all balloons and all walkers
  • Mr Bukhari donated samosas and Bhajis
  • Charlotte for Hair by Charlotte for donating her time and services to do hair-styles and plaits
  • Topaz Dance School for donating dancing services
  • Milly Jobling donated her time to do the photography (find all of Milly’s photos from the party below)