Our Giggle Doctor made a lovely connection with one of our children, to see her interacting in the session was amazing to watch.
Hospital Play Coordinator / 01/11/2016
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The mission at the heart of Theodora is to contribute to the wellbeing of children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres by providing visits from professional performers who have been trained to work in a medical environment.
At The Theodora Children’s Charity, we believe that laughter is the best medicine. Our Giggle Doctors visit children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres across England. By combining music, play, magic and storytelling these professional performers bring magical moments to brave children in challenging times. We believe that EVERY sick or disabled child should get the giggles that only a Giggle Doctor can bring.
What's a Giggle Doctor?
Our Giggle Doctors are professional performers, highly trained to work both in the medical environment and with children with disabilities. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring with them a variety of skills (among our team are actors, entertainers, magicians, musicians and singers). The training consists of a rigorous schedule of artistic and medical workshops which cover topics such as child development, infection control, child bereavement and the impact of illness and bereavement on families.
Dr Bananas, Dr Dotty and their funny friends are also trained in 'Intensive Interaction' which is a practical approach to working with people with very severe learning difficulties, helping them to relate and communicate better with the people around them. The Giggle Doctors learn the fundamentals of communication, exploring the elements that come into play: position, movement, mirroring, repetition, eye-contact and most of all having fun and providing opportunities for play.
Why have Giggle Doctors?
A stay in hospital, whether overnight or longer term, can be scary and upsetting for children who are away from loved ones. Our Giggle Doctors visit children’s wards in hospitals across the country and brighten the days of children receiving chemotherapy, dialysis and other treatments.
The hospices that the Giggle Doctors visit offer respite to children and their families at often very challenging times. Our programme provides additional opportunities for children to interact, play, and engage in fun activities.
Specialist care centres
Our Giggle Doctors react to the particular needs, and individual circumstances of children in specialist care centres. Giggle Doctors are trained in a technique called “intensive interaction”, which enables them to connect and communicate with these children through specially tailored play.
Having seen the Giggle Doctors at work in hospitals I am convinced that laughter is the best medicine. My expedition work is made all the more worthwhile when I see the smiles they generate and the fun they have with them.
Ken Robertshaw, Rotarian / 01/04/2017