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Dr Easy Peasy and Dr Flowerpot are Artistic Coordinators, and they are here to explain what that role means and how they support other Giggle Doctors!

Meet Dr Flowerpot

Dr Flowerpot

How long have you been a Giggle Doctor?

I have been a Giggle Doctor since 2011 so 11 years. I visit, Nottingham Queens Medical centre, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospitals.

What is an Artistic Coordinator?

Being an Artistic Coordinator is a shared post with Dr Easy Peasy to help support good practice and the training needs of the whole team. We advise and work with the Junior Giggle Doctors during their 2 year training, and help them develop in all areas of the work. We also offer support to the senior Giggle Doctor team. We are always available to anyone who needs help, by phone or in person. We are also the bridge between the charity office and the artists. We also meet with the other Theodora Artistic Coordinators in different countries to learn from one another and bring back new ideas to the UK Giggle Doctors. 

What is a special memory that stands out in your time as being a Giggle Doctor?

Whilst it is a sad memory, it is one I look back on fondly. I visited a young child in a side room, when I arrived they looked very small, just a head above the sheet. His father was sat beside his bed reading a paper, Mum was tinkering with belongings, he looked so sad, and low in energy!

I asked if I could enter, and was invited in. I made a huge mess of trying to get my apron and gloves on, then bounced off the door, and generally causing havoc trying to get in the room. The little boy started to smile, then giggle! Once I’d made my way in we sat with the silliness a while. I tried to blow bubbles failing, which made the child giggle, and sit up! His mum picked up their Ipad and started filming him.

His father abruptly put down his paper and left the room. I felt a little guilty as I assumed I’d disturbed his peace, but continued with the bubbles and light slapstick play, to lovely sounds of laughter and silly noises. The young boy had a wonderful time, but I was very aware of his fragile state and didn’t want to wear him out! I blew my last few bubbles with a double flourish, one bubble inside another, the joy from the patient and parent was so beautiful! I said my goodbyes and attempted to leave as I’d arrived, making a hash of using a door! More giggles and much appreciation was given.

Later in the shift I met the boy’s father in a corridor. He apologised for leaving, and explained that he hadn’t seen his child smile let alone laugh in months. He’d become overwhelmed and had needed to leave in haste as the tears came. I felt so pleased, yet such sadness for them and was glad to have been able to make such a difference.

And lucky that the mum thought to video the interaction for their own memories.

The little one passed away two weeks later.

Meet Dr Easy Peasy

Dr Easy Peasy

How long have you been a Giggle Doctor?

I have been Dr Easy Peasy since 2013. I visit Great Ormond Street, St George's, Evelina, The Royal Marsden, The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Southampton, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Addenbrooke's, Young Epilepsy, Nottingham and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Visiting so many care centres I manage to work with every active Giggle Doctor on the team, which is an absolute joy, and I learn so much from the different ways my colleagues work and play.

What is an Artistic Coordinator?

As co-Artistic Coordinator I help train new Giggle Doctors, and support them through their journey from Trainee to Junior to Senior. I arrange Progress Visits for newer Giggle Doctors as well as Development Visits for Seniors, where I am an outside eye, offering suggestions and encouragement. I am privileged to witness the many interactions I observe, and I then try to pass on new ideas and best practice, something I also do after attending international meetings with my colleagues from other countries. 

I also liaise between the Giggle Doctors and the Giggle Doctor Programme team about our work. I ask the Giggle Doctors about their needs and try to organise training that is both skill-based and supportive. For example, we organised slapstick and improvisation workshops alongside a facilitated conversation about Giggle Doctoring and child mental health.

I'm also on the end of the phone if anyone needs a chat.

What is a special memory that stands out in your time as being a Giggle Doctor?

The very first time I observed a Senior Giggle Doctor on a Development Visit I was in awe of the skills Giggle Doctors have, and the benefits of the work we do. Each interaction was personalised to the age, abilities and temperament of the child, and the Giggle Doctor attuned perfectly each time, creating fun, laughter, and magical connections wherever they went. It's not always possible to get the big picture when in costume, so I was grateful to experience the full effects of our work from an outside perspective. 

 

Dr Easy Peasy