As Royal Blind celebrate their 225 year anniversary we wanted to celebrate the work of the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh where our Clowndoctors have visited regularly for many years. We asked Senior Practitioner Rachel Colles (Dr Mousse) to share her experiences of working as a Clowndoctor at the Royal Blind School.
I have worked at the Royal Blind School as Dr Mousse for many years. When I started with Hearts & Minds the Clowndoctors had only just begun going to special schools so we were learning lots about visiting children in their classrooms with their peer groups. At the Royal Blind School we were incredibly lucky to have fantastic support from the staff and we have visited some of the young people at the school for many years.
I always look forward to a day at the Royal Blind School. We see children in their classes or in an individual visit and over the years we have had the fun of visiting children in the soft play, outdoors, the log cabin and even in the pool!! Because we have been going to the school for a long time we have built-up long-term relationships with many of the children and young people and this has allowed us to really get to know what they like and don’t like and what works. The children will hear us coming down the corridor playing our ukulele & singing and have their own response. For some that can be intense listening and anticipation, others it can be tracking us down and exploring our pockets or for one particular young gentleman it was shouting out “Boo” at the top of his voice! I also love the sense of anticipation as we find out what the game is going to be that day with that young person.
It is a privilege to work in such a warm and supportive environment and to get to know all the amazing young people who go there. Last week we had our second visit with a young girl we are just getting to know. Dr Mousse was describing her to Dr Doodle so he could find her…Mousse said…she has glasses and long hair and likes cats…”and the Clowndoctors” the young girl shouted out.
I always leave the Blind School feeling very lucky to work there as a Clowndoctor.
Rachel Colles/Dr Mousse