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Nov 18, 2019

Thank You for all the Giggles!

We want to say a big thank you for your very kind support of our work through GlobalGiving. At Theodora Children’s Charity we improve children’s experience of hospital by combining music, play and storytelling. Our Giggle Doctors aim to improve well-being and increase opportunities for play by bringing magical Giggle Doctor moments to children at a time when they need it most. We have been visiting children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres across England for 25 years. Last year, our 24 Giggle Doctors visited more than 33,000 sick and disabled children.

During their visits they aim to: 

  • Reduce distress and anxiety
  • Increase opportunities for play
  • Improve well-being

Each interaction is tailored to the child and the Giggle Doctor visits are designed to provide whatever the child needs at the time, whether it’s a joke, a song or simply companionship. 

We get so much wonderful feedback from the families of the children we visit and, to show the impact of your support, we would like to take the opportunity to share some of it with you.  

"Last week my daughter was admitted to our local hospital as her legs stopped working after a minor car crash.  It was very worrying and our local hospital transferred us to another hospital for examination.  

Dr. Easy Peasy visited us - her timing couldn't have been any better. We had literally just arrived and were feeling very sad for the other children on the ward and very sorry for ourselves. My daughter is 14 and not wanting to sound rude, we didn't really want Dr. Easy Peasy to stop at our bed. Well, Dr. Easy Peasy was exactly what we needed, I cannot put into words what she did for us.  She was absolutely fantastic and we will never forget her. My daughter was discharged yesterday too and so we are very fortunate.  Your work as a charity certainly appeals to all ages - thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Parent

We work closely with hospital staff to monitor the quality of our work through regular meetings. We collect feedback from children’s families through our online survey which is open all year round. This provides us with detailed information about the impact of the Giggle Doctor visits. We also carry out in depth interviews with parents of children who have been seen by the Giggle Doctors and who are keen to share their story with us. Through this we are able to learn more about their child and the impact our visits have had. In addition to the parent feedback survey we also send out a survey to NHS staff twice a year. 

“The Giggle Doctors have been fantastic at not only creating smiles within the children's wards they visit but provide constant cheer even when walking through the corridors they have time to chat and make patients young and old smile.” Hospital Play Leader

How your support helps children like Jack and Charlotte

We receive lots of feedback from families about how our Giggle Doctors have made an impact for their child, but we also wanted to share this story from one of our very own Giggle Doctor’s:

“We saw Jack, a boy we know has a very cheeky sense of humour. When he came into the room, I said really loudly to Dr. Yoho – “Oh, Dr. Yoho, I’m going to hide from Jack – tell him I’m not here - don’t tell him I’m behind this chair…” and I went to hide behind the chair. Dr. Yoho went over and said “ah, hello Jack, I need to tell you that Dr. Dovetail wants me to tell you that she’s not here, but actually, she’s hiding behind that chair!”. Jack began to laugh as I stood up – outraged at being found out! 

We played this game several more times and each time I stood up outraged, Jack’s laugh became louder. The final time I’d said “tell him I’m not here, I’ve gone to the moon”. This time when I came out, I asked Jack if he would like to go to the moon with me – he gestured “yes”, so his carer wheeled him to sit next to me – we all put on our imaginary seatbelts and then I said, “and now it’s time to press some buttons before we do our countdown”. And I began to press some invisible, imaginary buttons and each time I pressed a button there was a loud squeak. This made Jack laugh super loud and hard, so we played with him pressing buttons, then him, then his carer and Dr. Yoho. Each time we heard the squeak, we all began to laugh together. 

It was just at that moment when Charlotte, an older girl came in. Her carer informed us that Charlotte had had an epileptic fit earlier and fallen out of her bed onto the floor, so was feeling down in the dumps and was hoping we could cheer her up. We introduced her and her carer to our squeaky button pressing game, and pretty soon, there were 6 of us squeaking away and laughing together. It was at this point that Jack had to go, so we never actually got to go to the moon, but the fun we had getting ourselves ready to go was enough! Sometimes I find it amazing how simple it can be for us to find something to connect over.” Dr. Dovetail

We are so grateful for your generous support, which has allowed us to continue bringing fun and laughter to children in hospital at a time when it is most needed. 

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our work, please feel free to get in touch at theodora.uk@theodora.org.

Links:

Aug 22, 2019

Thank You for all the Giggles!

We want to say a big thank you for your very kind support for our work through GlobalGiving. At the Theodora Children’s charity, we improve children’s experience of hospital. By combining music, play and storytelling, Giggle Doctors improve wellbeing and bring magical moments to children facing huge challenges with their health. We have been visiting children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres across England for 25 years. Last year, our 24 Giggle Doctors visited more than 33,000 sick and disabled children.

 The best way to show the impact of your support is to share with you some of the wonderful feedback we receive from families of the children we visit. 

"The Giggle Doctors came to see my daughter when she was inconsolable. After a few minutes of ringing their gentle bells and lovely lights she stopped crying and was mesmerised. They listened to my worries and sympathised. They are ladies with hearts of gold. Thank you so so much Dr Dotty and Dr Snug!" Parent 

A more positive experience in hospital has been shown to aid recovery and the Giggle Doctors change the energy in the room, simply by being fully present for each child. 

During their visits they aim to: 

  • Reduce distress and anxiety
  • Increase opportunities for play
  • Improve wellbeing

Each interaction is tailored to the child and the Giggle Doctor visits are designed to provide whatever the child needs at the time, whether it’s a joke, a song or simply companionship. 

“They have a lovely manner with staff and are sensitive in the way they approach wards. They have an amazing ability to pull out all the stops with endless fun and things to do, whilst showing that their infection control procedures are impeccable. The children’s laughter shows how much they enjoy the sessions and we observed a child’s heart rate increase as they sang and slow when they stopped. They are professionals and have a clear understanding of their role in the hospital.” Hospital Play Coordinator

Measuring the impact of your support 

We work closely with hospital staff to monitor the quality of our work through regular meetings. We collect feedback from children’s families through our online survey which is open all year round. This provides us with detailed information about the impact of the Giggle Doctor visits. We also carry out in depth interviews with parents of children who have been seen by the Giggle Doctors and who are keen to share their story with us. Through this we are able to learn more about their child and the impact our visits have had. In addition to the parent feedback survey we also send out a survey to NHS staff twice a year. 

“I just wanted to say Dr Geehee and Dr Whoopee really brightened up my little boys’ day in hospital today. They were so funny and the magic was great! On his way home from hospital he said “this was a fun day!”. Thank you so much!”.Parent 

How your support helps children like Eliza

We receive lots of feedback from families about how our Giggle Doctors have made an impact for their child and we wanted to share this story we received Eliza’s Mum about how our Giggle Doctors have helped:

“Eliza has juvenile arthritis, which means that her immune system attacks her joints and her eyes. Because of that she regularly has to go to the hospital for appointments. She can still see, but that is thanks to painful treatment and medication that she has to receive regularly. Eliza is very brave and gets on with it all, but the treatment is heavy and leaves her exhausted and nauseous. So even though all the nurses are incredible and make us feel welcome, the time she spends in hospital is quite difficult for her. As a mum, it is also tough for me too, seeing her going through this.

The Giggle Doctor visits were amazing. We have met both Dr Teapot and Dr Nic Nac. I particularly remember the first time we met Dr Teapot. We saw this man coming in our room with a teapot on his head! Within 30 seconds we were crying with laughter. He wasn’t just telling jokes, but fully entertaining us. We were hysterical. Even after he had left the room we were still laughing! It really cheered Eliza up and me too. It was a really special treat. It has also given her a positive memory of her time in hospital. Every time we have to go back to the hospital for another appointment, she asks if she will be able to see the Giggle Doctors again. It really does make a difference to children who are having treatment of any sort, but especially those with long term, chronic illnesses.’’

Thank you

 Thank you so much for choosing to support our Giggle Doctor programme, enabling us to bring fun and laughter to children in hospital at a time when they need it most. Without your support, our work would not be possible.

If you have any questions or would like to talk further about our work, please feel free to get in touch at Theodora.uk@theodora.org.

Links:

May 29, 2019

Thank You for all the Giggles!

Dr Flowerpot
Dr Flowerpot

We want to say a big thank you for your very kind support for our work through Global Giving. At the Theodora Children’s charity, we improve children’s experience of hospital. By combining music, play and storytelling, Giggle Doctors improve wellbeing and bring magical moments to children facing huge challenges with their health. We have been visiting children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres across England for 25 years. Last year, our 24 Giggle Doctors visited more than 33,000 sick and disabled children.

The best way to show the impact of your support is to share with you some of the wonderful feedback we receive from families of the children we visit.

“I just wanted to say Dr Geehee and Dr Whoopee really brightened up my little boys’ day in hospital today. They were so funny and the magic was great! On his way home from hospital he said “this was a fun day!”. Thank you so much!”.Parent

“My grandson laughed so much during his visit from the Giggle Doctors that the fluid in his lungs after heart surgery came out at a rapid rate! I'm sure the visit from the Giggle Doctors helped speed up his recovery. Thank you.”Grandparent 

A more positive experience in hospital has been shown to aid recovery and the Giggle Doctors change the energy in the room, simply by being fully present for each child. 

During their visits they aim to:

  • Reduce distress and anxiety
  • Increase opportunities for play
  • Improve wellbeing

 Each interaction is tailored to the child and the Giggle Doctor visits are designed to provide whatever the child needs at the time, whether it’s a joke, a song or simply companionship. 

“My daughter didn’t want to talk, eat or drink after her operation but then Dr Snug and Dr Geehee appeared and worked their magic. She ate, drank and spoke! She even got up and danced. Thank you so much!” Parent 

“We all know hospitals can be frightening and boring places for children, however, that is not the case when the Giggle Doctors are around. The children are relaxed, happy and excited; the perfect prescription for sick children”. Hospital Play Coordinator 

Measuring the impact of your support 

We work closely with hospital staff to monitor the quality of our work through regular meetings. We collect feedback from children’s families through our online survey which is open all year round. This provides us with detailed information about the impact of the Giggle Doctor visits. We also carry out in depth interviews with parents of children who have been seen by the Giggle Doctors and who are keen to share their story with us. Through this we are able to learn more about their child and the impact our visits have had. In addition to the parent feedback survey we also send out a survey to NHS staff twice a year. 

“They always bought a smile to my child's face and distracted her from her gruelling treatment. It was wonderful to be able to appreciate small moments of laughing together, a great stress relief for all of us at a very hard time. They are just magical!”Parent 

How your support helps children like Pippa 

We receive lots of feedback from families about how our Giggle Doctors have made an impact for their child and we wanted to share this story we received from Hayley, Pippa’s Mum about how our Giggle Doctors have helped Pippa to really show the impact of your support: 

“Pippa was diagnosed with Burkitts Leukaemia in September 2017 when she was seven years old. We’re from Brighton but she only spent four days there before being transferred to Southampton and then quickly to The Royal Marsden. Pippa was coming to the end of her treatment but unfortunately during her end of treatment tests, they discovered that she had relapsed. That was in July 2018. Because she had relapsed, she couldn’t have the same sort of Chemotherapy that she had been having, so she had to have a stem cell transplant. Pippa has three sisters and thankfully, her eldest sister was a 100% match and was the donor. She had the stem cell transplant at the end of October 2018 at The Royal Marsden and it was a great success. 

Pippa regularly sees the Giggle Doctors at The Royal Marsden Hospital. I can’t tell you how much she has enjoyed their visits. It’s made a big difference to her time in hospital. Every single Giggle Doctor without fail has made her laugh. They have lifted her spirits 100%. 

No matter how rubbish she is feeling, she immediately perks up when she sees the Giggle Doctors, even if they are not in her room. Then obviously when they do come in, it’s just amazing. The impact that they have on her even if she’s feeling rubbish, she totally changes. It gives her a buzz. I get in tears of laughter from it too. I think they are brilliant. I could sit for hours with them. 

Being in isolation is very hard for Pippa as she is quite a spirited young kid and she likes to be out there. Being away from home is also difficult. Whilst she is in isolation, the Giggle Doctors can’t come into the room but they can stand at the door and talk with her. This really cheers her up. 

Recently, there was a party for all the children on the ward but because Pippa was in isolation, she couldn’t go to the party. It got to the middle of the afternoon and she’d seen the Giggle Doctors but they hadn’t been in to see her yet so I went and looked for them. I saw Dr Dotty and I asked if she could come and see Pippa. About half hour later Dr Dotty and Dr Bananas both came in and spent a good 20 minutes with her. Pippa made them have a sing off which was brilliant. She was just full of smiles then. It was lovely. Dr Geehee and Dr Dotty also remember her from when they met her at Brighton too which is nice. 

I’ve got no other words apart from they are fantastic. Please keep doing what you’re doing”.

 Thank you 

Thank you so much for choosing to support our Giggle Doctor programme, enabling us to bring fun and laughter to children in hospital at a time when they need it most. Without your support, our work would not be possible.

If you have any questions or would like to talk further about our work, please feel free to get in touch. 

 
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