Making a bigger impact

Hearts & Minds help vulnerable people overcome feelings of powerlessness, anxiety and isolation through the art of therapeutic clowning.

This impact is recognised by all of our stakeholders.

Here's what staff have told us:

100% - Clowndoctors bring smiles and laughter to the children they visit

87% - Clowndoctors visits increase the confidence of the child/children they visit

92% - Clowndoctors visits can help with physical relaxation of children

95% - Clowndoctors visits help increase the child’s communication (verbal or non-verbal)

Source: Hearts & Minds Strategic Programme Review 2014-17

How we help

  • Referrals from medical teams mean that we create interventions tailored specifically to a child or young person’s personality, condition and status
  • We provide in-house training for healthcare staff, play specialists and teachers, helping them to build on their own specialist skills
  • Extending our therapeutic clowning into schools for learners with complex additional support needs lets us make a valuable contribution to the Curriculum for Excellence too

These comments from parents, families and staff really show the impact our visits have

"You've really had a positive effect for him while you've been here and you always seem to have great timing when you arrive - for example, one time he was really upset and crying as he had just had his dressings removed and your 2 faces appeared and tapped on the window and he broke into a smile"

Mum of 5 yr old boy at Glasgow Children’s Hospital

"I wish we could bottle that laughter! It is just amazing to hear!"

Grandma of patient in 2b, Glasgow Children's Hospital

"The work is really great, I love watching you guys, you just open a whole new world for them."

Music Teacher, Royal Blind School, Edinburgh

"Thank you, he was just crying and crying and thought I'd never get him to stop. Then his brother said. Look there are the Clowndoctors. You came along just at the right time."

Consultant, Ward 6, Edinburgh Children's Hospital

“The Clowndoctors are special medicine that us parents would love to bottle and bring home!”

Mum of young girl, Glasgow Children's Hospital

"I just can't help myself from laughing, this is so much fun."

Boy, aged 13 in hydro pool, Royal Blind School, Edinburgh

"He's very excited to see the Clowndoctors. He has a smile for you, but not the other Doctors!"

Mum of child, Edinburgh Children's Hospital

"Thanks for cheering him up, he's not long in. It was good for his mum to see him like that."

Play Staff Specialist at Ninewells

21st January 2019
Clowndoctors with pupil

Rhythm and song in the classroom

The Clowndoctors have specialist training to work with children with severe learning disabilities. They use techniques such as intensive interaction to ‘learn the language’ of each […]
21st January 2019
Clowndoctors in hospital

Laughter is a healer

The Clowndoctors make children laugh. Laughter physically relaxes us and reduces stress.  Research has shown that humour helps us to cope with pain, stress and adversity. […]
14th August 2018
Clowndoctors with patient

“I want to be one of you”

Ruridh* is a 7 year old boy who contracted a brain infection whilst being treated for the flu. When the clowndoctors met him, he was using […]
31st May 2018

Magic Ice Cream!

Recently at one of the hospitals the Clowndoctors visit they came across an 8 year old girl having some vanilla ice cream after an operation. When […]
3rd May 2018

Laughter is the best medicine.

Dr Mousse sent us this wonderful story about a boy aged four at the Sick Kids who was in Ward 7 then Ward 2 who has […]
3rd May 2018

The Bahookie song

The Clowndoctors recently visited a very unwell 6 year-old boy. In his room he was propped up against pillows in his bed by the window. We […]
3rd May 2018


We were asked to visit Joe, an 8 year old boy whom we had visited previously. Joe has complex needs and has some vocabulary that he […]