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Mar 4, 2019

Thank you for giving giggles!

We want to say a big thank you for your very kind support for our Giggle Doctor programme 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 remember the first day we met the Giggle Doctors. I still have a video of it. You can see Theodore, sitting on a chair, surrounded by two Giggle Doctors, all smiles. Back then he loved bubbles, so they were blowing bubbles, and Theodore sat watching, looking amazed. I had tears in my eyes. It was so wonderful to see him that happy in spite of everything. The Giggle Doctors allow you to forget about everything that is going on. For a moment you just laugh and smile. It takes you away from it all. That’s really wonderful. The impact of the Giggle Doctor visits has lasted years. We still talk about it regularly and show Theodore the videos’’. 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 in the healthcare environment
  • 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.

"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 too. They are Ladies with hearts of gold. Thank you so so much Dr Dotty and Dr Snug!" Parent

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 Georgia

We recently received this lovely feedback from a hospital play specialist whose own child was in hospital;

“I had an experience a couple of weeks ago of being on the other side when I bought my daughter into hospital for surgery. Georgia sometimes struggles with anxieties, primarily about new things, new people and changes of routines. I anticipated she would find surgery tricky and, being a play specialist, did lots of preparation!! All went really well until Georgia’s nurse bought over the BP machine, she panicked and clung onto me whilst crying and unable to engage. At this point I thought it would be impossible to calm her down, as it often is at home! 
  
However, Dr Snug arrived at just that point and skillfully won Georgia over to a point where she was happily interacting with the magic and giggling! Dr Snug even helped to get her interacting with her lovely nurse so she could apply the local anaesthetic cream and ID band. The rest of the morning went really well and her anaesthetic induction was calm and controlled, she drifted off to sleep happily (much to my surprise!). 
  
I can’t thank Dr Snug enough for her help in calming Georgia down and helping her manage what was potentially a very tricky morning for her. Thank you Dr Snug and all the Theodora team for making these visits possible. Georgia still talks about Dr Snug now, she was definitely the high point of her hospital adventure.” 
Parent

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.

Dec 6, 2018

Thank you for giving giggles in 2018!

Thank you so much for choosing to support our Giggle Doctor programme through GlobalGiving. At the Theodora Children’s Charity, we believe that all children deserve laughter. By combining music, play and storytelling, Giggle Doctors improve wellbeing and bring magical moments to children facing huge challenges with their health. 

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.

Hayley recently got in touch to let us know the difference our Giggle Doctor visits have made for her daughter Pippa.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the Giggle Doctors for everything they do. Our daughter was diagnosed with a rare Leukaemia last year and then sadly relapsed in April meaning more treatment. She has just had a stem cell transplant and has spent most of this year and a bit in hospital. On every single visit from the Giggle Doctors, they have made her (and us as parents) smile and laugh. She is currently in isolation and was so excited when today she saw Dr Dotty (who, out of all the Giggle Doctors she has seen, is Pippa’s absolute favourite!!). I just had to tell you how fantastic the Giggle Doctors are and the impact they have on poorly children. Thank you!”

During their visits, our Giggle Doctor visits aim to:

  • Reduce distress and anxiety
  • Increase opportunities for play in the healthcare environment
  • 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.

“Thank you so much to the Giggle Doctors for visiting my son today while in Sheffield Children’s Hospital having blood transfusions. You really cheered him and me up. What you do is amazing. I haven’t heard my son laugh like that is such a long time (well probably since the last time he saw you). Thank you so much!” Parent

Measuring the impact of your support

We work hard to develop the amount and range of feedback we collect to measure the charity’s impact and we are committed to providing the best possible service that we can. Our online survey is open for feedback from parents and guardians all year round. We also collect feedback from the hospital staff and parents during our Impact Focus Days. Here are some of the results:

  • 93% of parents/guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors reduced stress and anxiety for their child whilst in hospital.
  • 100% of parents/guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors increased opportunities for play for their child whilst in hospital. 
  • 93% of parents/ guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors improved the mood of their child whilst in hospital. 
  • 100% of hospital staff rated the Giggle Doctors as excellent or very good. 

“I just wanted to say how much Dr Geehee and Dr Whoopee brightened up my little boy’s day at The Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton. 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 George

We recently spoke to Ruth, George’s mum about George’s experience of the Giggle Doctors.

“George went into the Royal Marsden in January and we were there for six months. We went home for short periods of time inbetween but on the whole, we were at the hospital for the majority of those six months. He was just four years old when he went in, and had his 5th birthday in hospital. 

It was a very long time and there were phases when we couldn’t see anyone else. Either George wasn’t well enough or they weren’t well so we often had long periods by ourselves. 

George was really miserable in the beginning when he first went into hospital. He wasn’t one of these run around and put on a show children. He was really poorly and not interested. When anyone came to visit he showed exactly how he felt. He wasn’t planning on putting on a brave face for anyone. 

It was hard going but the Giggle Doctors didn’t give up on him. When it was just me and him he found it a bit much but he loved watching them with other people. They kept trying to involve him. They wouldn’t be in his face or over the top but they did things that made him curious and eventually they won him over which was great. 

That first time they really got him involved, they made his toys squeak and then all of a sudden, he was there with them and enjoyed it all. He realised that it was fun and that there was no pressure on him which was really great. A lot of the children were happy to go along and join in with the Giggle Doctors and I think he felt like he had to do that too but when he realised he could just sit there and watch without feeling under pressure he was really happy.

At the beginning of our stay in hospital, we were so grateful for the Giggle Doctors as it was a bit of light-hearted relief. It’s an amazing thing and we love them. It’s such a long stretch of time to be in hospital. They are one of the only nice experiences so we have fond memories of them but not the rest of it.

George is now able to remember some of the good parts, rather than just the bad parts. He remembers the Giggle Doctors; playing snowballs with cotton wall or paper. It was lovely to see him smile. He was so unhappy so just to see him smile for a little while when they were there was nice.

When they first came around we were like oh my gosh, this is brilliant. Each of the Giggle Doctors have their own way of making everyone feel happier because it’s not just for the children, it’s for the whole family. It’s a wonderful feeling. Every visit made you feel euphoric”.

Thank you

From everyone at the Theodora Children’s Charity, we want to say a big thank you for choosing to support our Giggle Doctor programme and making magical Giggle Doctor moments possible for children at a time when they need it most. Without the generosity of supporters like you, our work really wouldn’t be possible. 

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

Sep 10, 2018

Thank you for giving giggles!

Thank you for choosing to support our Giggle Doctor programme through GlobalGiving. At the Theodora Children’s Charity, we believe that all children deserve laughter. By combining music, play and storytelling, Giggle Doctors improve wellbeing and bring magical moments to children facing huge challenges with their health. Last year, our 25 Giggle Doctors visited more than 33,000 sick and disabled children. This would not be possible without your very generous support. 

During their visits, our Giggle Doctor visits aim to:

  • Reduce distress and anxiety
  • Increase opportunities for play in the healthcare environment
  • Improve wellbeing

The children are not just spectators but participants in the experience and every child that wishes to be visited is visited. It is not always about laughter, sometimes the focus of the visit might be on music, magic or storytelling.  At other times a few bubbles may be what is needed or perhaps just a balloon left at the foot of the bed. The interaction is always led by the child and each Giggle Doctor is highly trained to be sensitive to the child’s needs and their individual situation.

“The Giggle Doctors provide laughter and escape from the hospital environment for not only the children but their families too. Recently a child was transferred here from another hospital so was in an unfamiliar hospital but was visited by a Giggle Doctor who had seen them previously in another hospital. This provided them with great reassurance and helped them to settle much more easily”. Hospital Staff Member

Measuring the impact of your support

We work hard to develop the amount and range of feedback we collect to measure the charity’s impact and we are committed to providing the best possible service that we can. Our online survey is open for feedback from parents and guardians all year round. We also collect feedback from the hospital staff and parents during our Impact Focus Days. Here are some of the results:

  • 100% of parents/guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors had a positive effect on their child
  • 71% of parents/guardians believed that Giggle Doctors reduced stress and anxiety for their children whilst in hospital.
  • 75% of parents/guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors increased opportunities for play in hospital. 

“The Giggle Doctors are like a special treat and they are really good at getting through to the kids. They make a massive difference.”  Parent.

"We met Dr Whoopee today! What an amazing Giggle Doctor!!! Thank you for brightening up our day. My son was very fearful of being in hospital and in a lot of pain. Dr Whoopee distracted him from the pain, had him laughing and helped him have a positive visit to a hospital. She definitely helped take his worries away!” Parent

How your support helps children like Alfie

Alfie's Mum recently got in touch to tell us how our Giggle Doctors made Alfie smile whilst he was in hospital.

"Alfie was 5 when he was diagnosed with burkitts leukaemia. He spent nearly 4 months on the ward at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

We met Dr I-spy during our first week on the ward and she made us all smile and laugh which we hadn't done for a long time. As the weeks went on Alfie got to know when the Giggle Doctors were coming and would be ready and waiting for them to come. As soon as he saw Dr I-spy he would run up to her and make jokes with her.

The Giggle Doctors are so important for not only the children but the parents as well. They make it all seem so much easier and make you remember that it's ok to laugh when things are rubbish.

We can't thank you all enough for what you do". 

Thank you

Thank you so much for choosing to support our Giggle Doctor programme and helping us to bring fun and laughter to poorly children in hospital, hospices and specialist care centres. Our work really wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our supporters like yourself.  

Our 2017-2019 strategy is to increase the number of children we are able to visit from 33,000 children a year in 2017 to 43,500 children a year by the end of 2019. Your support is helping us to work towards this goal. 

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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