Suzie Ferguson attends EFHCO Conference

The European Federation of Healthcare Clown Organizations (EFHCO) was founded to protect and support professional clown work in a healthcare environment on a European level; in particular caring for hospitalized children, their families and other vulnerable and sick people.

They meet once a year, and this was my first meeting as Hearts & Minds Artistic Director. I have to say that I was quite nervous before arriving, but I needn’t have been. I was made so welcome by everybody – the incredible (and I like to think well deserved!) reputation of Hearts & Minds preceded me.

Over the last seven years Hearts & Minds has been an integral part of the team working together to create the EFHCO Quality Label – an accreditation certificate that denotes a benchmark of high standards that we all agree to work to.

And now that the hard work of laying out and agreeing on the criteria is done, the federation can work together to share best practice, advocate more broadly for the work we do, and inspire one another with new programmes and ways of reaching those who need it most.

I found it hugely inspiring to hear Hearts & Minds values and vision reflected back by so many other organisations across Europe – our common goals, experiences, challenges. It is so galvanizing to step back and see your profession with fresh eyes, through a different lens – yes to celebrate what we do well, but also to think about what we can do better.

Exciting conversations are starting to happen – watch this space!

Suzie Ferguson, Artistic Director