Our Clowndoctors are specialist arts-in-therapy practitioners – carefully chosen and expertly trained – who work with children and young people in hospitals, hospices, respite care settings and schools for learners with complex additional support needs.

We visit children who:

  • are in hospital for a short time for a routine procedure
  • are long-stay patients
  • are fully dependent or have life-limiting conditions
  • have physical and learning difficulties or complex special needs
  • experience emotional or behavioural challenges

Clowndoctors help children and young people to:

  • overcome feelings of powerlessness, anxiety, isolation and boredom
  • improve their self-esteem and self confidence
  • tackle communication, social and physical challenges
  • cope with painful, distressing or confusing treatments and procedures

Tickling funny bones

We believe that laughter is nature’s best medicine, but what we do goes far beyond that. We use therapeutic clowning to make a genuine connection with every child we interact with, engaging the young person behind the illness. By gently finding out what makes them happy and then acting on it, we can give them the confidence to smile and laugh again.

Involving the whole family

Time and time again, we are told how much more bearable we make the hospital experience. By relieving the fear or anxiety experienced by children and young people, we make their parents’ and families’ experiences less stressful too – and healthcare staff can work even more effectively when the children and young people in their care are relaxed and positive. Whenever possible, we try and involve mums and dads, brothers and sisters, and other visitors in our sessions so that it becomes a shared experience.

Delivering smiles and laughter

The Clowndoctors Programme offers vulnerable children and young people a range of social, emotional, psychological and physical benefits and it also helps to raise spirits in the care environment for parents, carers and staff. Our interactions often result in smiles and laughter, but the Clowndoctors’ main aim is to see beyond the illness and make a lasting and positive connection with each child.

"He said that he was too old for clowns but that was the first time he's smiled in 2 weeks."

Mother of 8 year old boy

We visit:

  • Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock
  • Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert
  • Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
  • Raigmore Hospital, Inverness
  • Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital
  • Royal Hospital for Children, Edinburgh
  • Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow
  • St John’s Hospital, Livingston

The Clowndoctors also visit hospices, respite care settings and schools for learners with complex additional support needs.