Oct 6, 2020

Thank you for all of 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 33 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. 

During their visits our Giggle Doctors 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.  

"My daughter arrived on the ward today very teary eyed and nervous, with her little head full of memories of needles, pain and illness. However, we arrived at the same time as the giggle doctors!!! Within a minute they had completely captured her attention and put her totally at ease. She completely forgot where she was and thoroughly enjoyed her time with them both, as did I! Thank you so much for everything you did for Ava-Grace today, you made a huge difference in a little girls world and made the hospital a much brighter place to be" – A 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. 

How your support helps children in hospital

We receive lots of feedback from families about how our Giggle Doctors have made an impact for their child, and it is thanks to support like yours that we are able to bring these magical moments.

We are excited to share the news that we are launching live video calls with our Giggle Doctors! We are working very hard to continue to bring joy and laughter to children in hospital at a time when it is needed most.

As our Giggle Doctors are currently unable to visit children in hospital due to Covid-19, we have adapted our Giggle Doctor Programme to be available digitally. With our Giggle Doctor Live Calls, we aim to provide the same service, but through a screen instead of in person. Starting in October, the Giggle Doctors will be online every week, and parents will be able to visit our website and book a time slot to connect with the Giggle Doctor via a Whats App Video Call on their phone or tablet. Our Giggle Doctors are also creating Giggle-a-Grams, which are personalised Giggle Doctor videos that you can request for your child.

"My 2 1/2 year old daughter absolutely loved her live video visit from Dr Flowerpot. We had lots of laughing and play together and it was really easy to do the online booking and visit." - A parent

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. 

"Everyone at Theodora Giggle Doctors charity is glad that with our Live Visit Programme we will be able to visit children who we know have been missing us.  We have been missing them too and are working hard to be able to visit in person. Until then hope we that lots of you will get in touch and book a live visit.  Many thanks for all your support." - Judi Byrne, Chief Executive

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our work, please feel free to email ellen.blessington@theodora.org

Links:

Jun 8, 2020

Thank you for all of 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 33 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. 

During their visits our Giggle Doctors 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.  

“Just before his 3rd birthday, Lewis was diagnosed with Leukaemia. He has had to spend a lot of time in hospital for his chemotherapy treatment and to prevent infections. The hospital staff are very lovely, the nurses in particular, but they have little individual time with Lewis because they have a lot of children to deal with. He gets lonely and upset at times and it is hard for us to keep him entertained. 

That’s where the Giggle Doctors come in. They spend time with Lewis, blowing bubbles. That immediately brings a smile to his face. They make us giggle too! Having the Giggle Doctors really makes the hospital routine more positive. Lewis gets so excited when he knows the Giggle Doctor are coming.  I particularly remember the first time, with Dr Dotty and Dr Easy Peasy. It was right after Lewis’ diagnosis so it was quite a difficult time, but seeing them made us all laugh, it was amazing.  It gave us hope that it would be alright, that we could get through it. 

What’s particularly extraordinary about them is that they always know exactly what Lewis needs. Sometimes, Lewis is not in the mood for bubbles, and they sense it immediately and offer something a bit different. They always get it right. When they come in, it’s all about Lewis, what he wants and needs. They make him their one and only priority. This brings humanity to the hospital environment.’’ A 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. 

How your support helps children in hospital

We receive lots of feedback from families about how our Giggle Doctors have made an impact for their child, and it is thanks to support like yours that we are able to bring these magical moments.

"Two days after surgery, the Giggle Doctors arrived on the ward for their weekly visit.  I was concerned – I could hear them coming with lots of noise and laughter and I felt that my daughter was not strong enough to cope with this.  However, they were calm and gentle, immediately modifying their performance to meet the needs of the individual child.  My daughter smiled (she couldn’t laugh, physically, at this stage) and we all immediately felt better.  The beneficial effects of play for a sick child have been researched and documented, but until you have had your own child sick I don’t think anyone can fully appreciate just how important those benefits are." – A parent

 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 email ellen.blessington@theodora.org

Links:

Feb 14, 2020

Thank you for all of 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. 

During their visits our Giggle Doctors 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.  

"My daughter arrived on the ward today very teary eyed and nervous, with her little head full of memories of needles, pain and illness. However, we arrived at the same time as the Giggle Doctors! Within a minute they had completely captured her attention and put her totally at ease. She completely forgot where she was and thoroughly enjoyed her time with them both, as did I! Thank you so much for everything you did for Ava-Grace today, you made a huge difference in a little girls world and made the hospital a much brighter place to be" – A 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. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that we very much enjoy visits from your Giggle Doctors.  We never cease to be impressed by how well they interact with all our young people and their families.  They are all unfailingly sensitive; adaptable, and responsive to the individual needs of each child.  Their skill and sense of fun bring enormous pleasure to the children; families and staff.” - Hospital Play Specialist

 How your support helps children in hospital

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:

"I met a 10 year old girl who looked very fed up in her wheelchair with her leg in plaster. She and her mum welcomed me over saying cheering up was very needed, and we did lots of magic tricks with the sponge balls, the girl of course holding the magic wand. The nurses joined in the magic as well as the staff member at the reception desk, and a little boy I had played with earlier. She was really enjoying making the red balls appear and disappear and was completely thrilled when I said she could keep the wand as a present. I went on to play with other children in the department before seeing her again a while later. She said to me with a knowing smile "Dr Dotty, I tried to fix my leg with my magic wand and it didn't work." I offered her a smile back and said lightly, "The real Doctors will fix your leg, they are much better at fixing legs than me." And without a pause, she simply replied "But Dr Dotty, you're really good at fixing feelings!" - Dr Dotty, Giggle Doctor

 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 email ellen.blessington@theodora.org

Links:

 
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