Launched in 1999, the Clowndoctors Programme uses the performing arts to improve the quality of life for children and young people in hospital, hospice, residential and special care in Scotland.

Programme Benefits

Children in hospital, hospice or residential care often experience a range of complex issues alongside their medical condition or disability, such as:

  • Feelings of powerlessness and frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Difficulties with communication, social or physical skills
  • Coping with procedures which may be painful, distressing or confusing

The Clowndoctors Programme offers these vulnerable children and young people a range of social, emotional, psychological and physical benefits that address these issues and help to improve the care environment. Our activities often result in laughter but the Clowndoctors’ main aim is to see beyond the illness and make a lasting, positive connection with the individual child.

Who We Help

The Clowndoctors visit sick, disabled and vulnerable children with a wide range of medical conditions including:

  • Short stay patients in hospital for routine procedure
  • Long stay patients
  • Children who are fully dependent or have life limiting illnesses
  • Children with physical and learning difficulties
  • Children with complex special needs
  • Children with emotional and behavioural difficulties

The Clowndoctors Programme responds to the specific needs of each patient through extensive liaison with healthcare staff who refer participants directly to the Clowndoctors for an interactive session.

Where possible, the Clowndoctors also work to involve parents, brothers and sisters of sick children in sessions so that it becomes a shared family experience. This helps to extend the benefit of the Clowndoctors service beyond the child.