In our last report we updated you on the training of our new Clown Doctors and featured an interview with Kirsty Hudson. I spoke to her today to get an update on how her training is going:
How do you think you have developed since starting the training?
I feel as though I have come a long way in a short space of time though realize I still have a whole journey ahead of me with more to learn as I go. I have gained a much more heightened sense of awareness in the hospital environment, noticing more and being more conscious of children, staff and visitors all around me when I am working. This is something I am continuing to develop, along with practical skills such as magic which is currently my weakest skill. However, I have learned to make a selection of balloon animals which is another new skill for me since starting the training. I also feel that my openness and response to improvisation is continuing to grow. I have done classes on improvisation whilst at university and it feels so brilliant to put the skills I developed there into practice and just enjoy being able to play.
Our current Clown Doctors have been supporting the trainees every step of the way and as Kirsty mentions above, have been assisting them on their first visits to the hospitals.
Dr Hunny went to Bradford Royal Infirmary with Kathleen, one of the trainees, and sent us a lovely story which we would like to share with you:
I slowly peeked through the door where a little girl was sat down next to her father. We made eye contact and she smiled at me…I asked if it would be ok to come into her room and also if Kathleen (a trainee Clown Doctor who was observing) could join me too! The little girl nodded so we entered her room. I introduced myself and Kathleen, and asked the little girl her name. She told me but I called her ‘Princess’ as she looked like a little princess.
I picked up one of the little girl’s ‘Dora the Explorer’ slippers and pretended it was a phone! ‘Ring, ring, ring, ring’. (I’d pushed a phone sound effect on the gadget in my pocket). I placed the slipper to my ear and passed the little girl the other slipper. ‘Hello’ – she responded giggling away! We had a little conversation, including her Dad too, who also had the slipper to his ear! There was a lot of laughter whilst we were chatting away and I ended the conversation asking the little girl if she could help me do some magic. I pulled out of my pocket three yellow stars (sponges)! We gave the stars names (one being ‘Princess’, one ‘Dad’ and one my friend ‘Kathleen’!) The first star was placed in my hand (Princess) along with the second star (Kathleen)…the third star (Daddy) was placed into my pocket! I asked the little girl how many stars were in my hand – she responded ‘Two’. I asked the little girl whether we should try to magic the Dad star back. ‘Yes’ she said and we decided on the magic word ‘Abracadabra’ (after considering ‘Av a banana’, ‘Av a kebab’ and ‘Av a dab-dab’)! To the little girl’s amazement it worked, all three stars were together again! ‘How did you do that?!’, the little girl said with a big smile on her face. ‘I didn’t do it’, I replied…. ‘You must be magic’. We gave the little girl a big clap and she looked very pleased with herself. Just after us doing this, in walked three nurses with a trolley containing medication for the little girl - the nurses asked her what she’d been doing. I then said ‘how about she shows you, she’s very magical’ (the little girl agreed excitedly) This time we called the stars after the three staff nurses and we used the little girl’s hands to put the stars in, not mine.
We went through the story, placing two of the stars into the girl’s hand and the third into my pocket.
When the magic words were said she slowly opened her hand and was thrilled to see she had all three stars!! She was giggling away and the nurses congratulated her – she just looked elated and I truly believe it took her mind off what she was about to have done. Kathleen and I left her room watching the little girl still smiling away, Dad too, and the nurses.
‘Bye, Bye little Princess’, ‘You’re Magic’…
From everyone here at Theodora Children’s Trust thank you so much for your continued support.