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Christmas for Kids (C4K) is Embracing Arts’ main annual project and has been running since 2009.

Our fun, festive shows are designed for children with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND), profound & multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and/or life-limiting conditions.

The unifying feature of the children in our audiences is that they cannot access theatre in its traditional form due to a lack of fully-accessible spaces.

C4K is unique in that we are the only company in the country delivering shows designed for children with additional needs into hospices and schools with a UK-wide outreach.

 

We bring our work directly TO our audiences in the places they feel most comfortable and supported.

 

Often, the children that we cater for are too unwell or have such complex needs it is not possible to move them from their safe spaces to enjoy the arts. As such, we perform wherever we're needed - whether that's in hospice living rooms, in canteens and bedrooms; in school halls and classrooms, or in the middle of children’s wards.

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Our shows, delivered both in person and in digital format, have reached over 33,500 beneficiaries across the UK since we began.

C4K shows have always been offered entirely for free, and we fundraise throughout the year to pay our workforce fairly, meeting industry standards. Making this a free offering removes any financial barriers from our audiences accessing our work:

“With tight budget the opportunities to access any show are very limited. In the area where I was teaching it is almost impossible to take the kids to watch a show. So, to be able to offer them this experience in their own setting was amazing!”

Teacher, SEND School, East Anglia

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We were named Children’s Charity of the Year at the 2023 Kent Charity Awards, and our digital work was Highly Commended by the Third Sector Awards in 2021.

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Christmas for Kids 2024 Projects

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The Christmas for Kids LIVE tour!

Chrimblesense’ is a fully interactive, multi-sensory exploration of Christmas (‘Chrimble’). Two friendly characters, Frosty and Joy, guide our audience through the joys of 'Chrimble' using music, textiles, light stimuli & instruments. The show has a flexible child-led framework: sections can be extended, repeated or shortened guided by our audience's responses. We will be touring the show to 60 children's hospice and SEND school venues across the South East, North East & North West of England throughout the festive season.

  "First time my child actually watched and engaged in a show. It was brilliant. Thank you!"

Parent of child in hospice care, Kent, in 2023, when the show first toured.

 

About 'Chrimblesense' from audiences in 2023:

100% of audience surveyed said the child in their care enjoyed the show and found it engaging

98% felt the show had a positive impact on the wellbeing of the child in their care, as well as their own

'Phoebe's Festive Favourites'

A Digital Sensory Series

Phoebe’s Festive Favourites’ is a magazine-style children's show delivered in six episodes. Loveable puppet Phoebe shares her favourite elements of Christmas with the audience. Each episode features a song and sensory activities to be facilitated live. The show is accompanied by a resource e-pack guiding parents, teachers and carers on how to facilitate the sensory moments wherever they are, as well as suggested further learning & play exploration.

The show reunites a team who have produced four previous C4K digital shows, reaching over 23,000 people. 'Phoebe's Festive Favourites' will be available to stream throughout the festive period and is offered to SEND schools, children's hospices, community groups, hospitals and to families across the UK.

Here's an example of what 'Phoebe's Festive Favourites' will look like:

  'We spent the entire month of December at home due to my daughter's ill health... this was something special to engage with, to make us feel less isolated and alone.'

- Parent in East Anglia of our 2023 digital show

About our 2023 digital show, 'Phoebe's Green Christmas':

95% of audience surveyed found the digital show Resource e-pack easy to follow and the same number felt the child in their care enjoyed the show.

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"It made a positive difference to us. We haven't seen such an accessible show before. It made my daughter feel understood and cared for, and like she belonged."

- Parent of child with additional needs, C4K Digital show

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"It makes a huge difference to the children and families that they're able to come to a familiar environment to have a one on one show."

- Carer at Shooting Star Hospice,

C4K In-person show

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"The Christmas sensory story is the highlight of our festive season. Child X who is profoundly deaf enjoys watching and being part of this fun, exciting, interactive story. It enables her to enjoy a story with her siblings without losing interest. As her Mum I've loved and cherished watching her reactions and interactions every year."

- Parent at Alexander Devine Children's Hospice,

C4K In-person show

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"Every year we are blown away when we receive this opportunity, as we all look forward to this event. The performers are just amazing with how they deliver the show, and all the extra props that are provided to enable the children to be involved with the performance. It makes a huge difference to the children and families that they are able to come to a familiar environment to have a one on one show, and this has been expressed by parents. So, a HUGE thank you to you for doing what you do for us at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, and keep doing the great work you do.” 

- Senior Care Leader, Shooting Star Christopher's

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