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Apr 3, 2018

Giggle Doctor Programme

Our Impact in 2017
Our Impact in 2017

 Thank you for supporting us through GlobalGiving. Your support has helped us to reach thousands of children. Children just like Amy:

“Dr Snug’s visits gives us a little break and it also gives us hope. When Amy was last in hospital she was having her tube out and hadn’t spoken for a day. She went all that time without speaking and just went in to herself emotionally. When Dr Snug visited, she actually started smiling and talking. She helped to bring her back. Dr Snug does so much. You can see she really cares about all of the children she visits. She has so much love to give them.”Heidi, Amy’s Mum

It costs £10 to fund a Giggle Doctor visit for one child so any donations received through GlobalGiving help children to laugh and feel at ease during what can be an incredibly difficult time in their lives and we are so grateful.

Helping us to reach even more children

Donations through GlobalGiving are used across our entire Giggle Doctor programme in 21 hospitals, 3 hospices and 2 specialist care centres. This means that your donation has had a national impact, improving the hospital experience for thousands of children across England.

Measuring the impact of donations

We aim to

  • Reduce distress and anxiety
  • Increase opportunities for play in the healthcare environment
  • Improve well-being

Staff from the office conduct Impact Focus Days at each hospital once a year, to observe the Giggle Doctors and gather feedback from the children and their parents afterwards. These days give us the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions via a feedback form. We recently adapted our feedback form to make it double-sided; one side is very child-friendly and allows the child to tell us about the Giggle Doctor visit, whereas the other side asks the parents to give their feedback. This has allowed us to collect more authentic feedback to understand a Giggle Doctor visit from the point of view of a child.

  • 100% of parents/guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors had a positive effect on their child
  • 95% of parents/guardians rated the Giggle Doctors as Very Good or Excellent
  • 82% of parents/guardians felt the Giggle Doctors improved their child’s experience of being in hospital
  • 70% of parents/guardians believed that the Giggle Doctors helped to reduced distress and anxiety during their stay

Thanks to feedback collected, we are able to see the impact of the support we receive and how this correlates with our aims. It also means we will be able to continue to grow and improve our services in the future.

The lasting impact

Although a Giggle Doctor visit may only last a few minutes, the effect it can have on a child can last lifetime. The visits often have a longterm affect on the children and families they visit. 88% of parents said their child continued to talk about the Giggle Doctors after their visit and we often receive feedback from parents telling us the visits have helped to improve a child’s long-term experience of hospital:

"Because of the Giggle Doctors my daughter actually looks forward to coming to hospital for chemotherapy"

"We first met the Giggle Doctors 6 months ago, at Lewisham and Evelina hospitals. Louis still remembers these visits and talks about them, as well as more recent visits in the Royal Marsden. The Giggle Doctor visits have had an ongoing impact for Louis

The Giggle Doctor visits have helped my son to interact as he has developed a phobia of medical staff and the Giggle Doctors have helped him be less scared of people on the ward

The Giggle Doctors have helped Holly to make friends in hospital which has improved her experience and will hopefully help her when we have to come back to hospital

It is evident that our Giggle Doctor visits can have a significant impact on a child’s perception of the hospital environment.

Working closely with hospital and play staff

As part of our quality control we regularly observe the Giggle Doctors in action and work closely with hospital staff to monitor the quality of our work through regular meetings. What makes us stand out is the professionalism that our Giggle Doctors demonstrate. We pride ourselves on the quality of our artists who have been trained by us.

Alongside regular meetings with hospital staff, we also conduct an annual survey where we ask them to feedback their experiences with the Giggle

Doctors over the last year. Here are some of the results from our most recent survey:

  • 100% of hospital staff rated the Giggle Doctors as very good or excellent
  • 87% of hospital staff believed the Giggle Doctors increased opportunities for fun and play in hospital
  • 100% of hospital staff believed the Giggle Doctors improved the child’s experience of being in hospital
  • 87% of hospital staff believed the Giggle Doctors reduced distress and anxiety of the child during their stay

 We also regularly receive comments from hospital and play staff describing the impact of our Giggle Doctor programmes:

“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”

“One of our children is very non -communicative and tends to sleep a lot. It was lovely to see her connect with the Giggle Doctor who got her attention and sat with her for over 30mins. It was wonderful to see.”

“A patient was due to go to High Dependency Unit (HDU) because of his oxygen levels. The Giggle Doctor came along and made him laugh, which bought his oxygen levels up again meaning he didn’t have to go to HDU!”

Thank you

The impact of our work and the difference our Giggle Doctors make is epitomised in this email we received from a parent recently:

“I wanted to get in touch to say thank you to the Giggle Doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton who made such a difference to my daughter's time in hospital.

Rosie (aged 7) arrived at the Royal Marsden in December with stage 4 liver cancer... She was acutely unwell and very traumatised by the amount of intrusive interventions she had had to undergo in a previous hospital. It had been a complete whirlwind and we arrived at the Royal Marsden within a week of the diagnosis. Rosie stopped talking, and our typically happy chatty daughter withdrew into herself. It was heart-breaking to see. Just after Christmas she met two of your amazing Giggle Doctors, Dr Yo-Ho and Dr Bananas. I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I watched with amazement as Rosie started smiling, laughing and talking again and for a while she was able to escape the pain and the grim reality of cancer. I hadn't heard her talk in over a week and hadn't seen her smile since before Christmas. The weekly visit of the Giggle Doctors became a real highlight in our week and something for Rosie to look forward to.

I wanted to express how grateful we are for the joy and laughter that the Giggle Doctors brought into Rosie's last few months of life. It is a wonderful charity which has an amazingly powerful impact on children and indeed on their families too.” Jane, Rosie’s Mum

We are very grateful for your support which has made such a significant difference for so many sick and disabled children at a time when they need it most. We are so grateful for the smiles that you have made possible for children and their families across England.

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

Alice Barley

Fundraising and Communications Manager

A Giggle Doctor visiting children
A Giggle Doctor visiting children

Links:

Dec 22, 2017

Thank you for helping us give giggles in 2017!

Thank you so much for your incredible support in 2017! Your donations helped us to give giggles to sick and disabled children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres across England. 

Receiving treatment in hospital as a child can be incredibly distressing. Children are unable to attend school and separated from friends and family, sometimes for long periods of time. They may find it difficult to understand why they are undergoing uncomfortable treatments and procedures, surrounded by scary looking medical equipment, loud sounds and strange smells. They may even feel guilty for being the reason their loved ones are so worried about them. 

Sometimes all you need in such a frightening situation is to laugh, play and feel like a normal child again. The Theodora Children's Charity provides Giggle Doctors, who are specially trained to provide joy and laughter during even the most challenging situations.

Our Giggle Doctors will be giving giggles to children in hospital over Chrismas and every £10 provides a visit for one child. Please consider donating and helping us to reach even more children this Christmas. 

 

"I wanted to get in touch to say thank you to the Giggle Doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, who made such a difference to my daughter's time in hospital.

Rosie (aged 7) arrived at the Marsden in December with stage 4 liver cancer... She was acutely unwell and very traumatised by the amount of intrusive interventions she had had to undergo in a previous hospital. It had been a complete whirlwind and we arrived at the Marsden within a week of the diagnosis. Rosie stopped talking, and our typically happy chatty daughter withdrew into herself. It was heartbreaking to see, and then just after Christmas she met two of your amazing Giggle Doctors, Dr Yo-Ho and Dr Bananas. I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I watched with amazement as Rosie started smiling, laughing and talking again and for a while she was able to escape the pain and the grim reality of cancer. I hadn't heard her talk in over a week and hadn't seen her smile since before Christmas. The weekly visit of the Giggle Doctors became a real highlight in our week and something for Rosie to look forward to.

We were also lucky to meet Dr Dotty and Dr Geehee who, in addition to Dr Yo Ho and Dr Bananas, were outstanding. Their ability to adapt to the ever changing situation of a hospital environment and Rosie's health was impressive to watch and they would always tailor their interactions accordingly.

Devastatingly Rosie never got to leave the Marsden and she died in May after being in hospital for almost 5 months. We continue to struggle with our loss of Rosie which has left a massive void in our lives but I wanted to express how grateful we are for the joy and laughter that the Giggle Doctors brought into Rosie's last few months of life. It is a wonderful charity which has an amazingly powerful impact on children and indeed on their families too." - A Parent

Oct 3, 2017

July - September 2017 Project Report

Our Giggle Doctors have been very busy giving joy and laughter to sick and disabled children this summer. We are very excited to share with you our latest updates and tell you about the difference we have made thanks to your support. 

 

Our Autumn/Winter Newsletter is available for download: 

Download our latest newsletter to read about Emily's special friendship with Dr Ding Dong. Emily first met Dr Ding Dong when she was one. Now Emily is 3 1/2 and her mum shares how they have formed a special bond since that first visit. 

"Emily has been in hospital quite a lot now, she recognises all the Giggle Doctors and she reacts to them and she enjoys it. But when Dr Ding Dong visits, you can see that there is a special bond they have between the two of them. It definitely has a really positive impact on her which will last a very, very long time. I just think it is amazing and it is so important for all hospitals to have Giggle Doctors.”

You can also find out about our upcoming events and read all about the incredible support we have received from our supporters. Download our latest copy here: https://uk.theodora.org/en-gb/news-and-events/autumn-winter-newsletter-2017

 

Our Giggle Doctors are visiting a new hospital:

We are very excited to announce that a brand new Giggle Doctor programme has started at St George's Hospital in Tooting!

Two Giggle Doctors will be visiting St George's Hospital every other week and brightening the wards with music, magic, laughter and play. Now even more sick and disabled children will experience the joy and laughter of a magical Giggle Doctor visit!

 

We've been shortlisted to win £500 of charity prizes:

Theodora Children's Charity has been shortlisted to win £500 of charity displays. As we are a small charity, winning would make a real difference and help us get resources we otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. 

We're down to the final three but need your votes to win. Help our Giggle Doctors and please take the time to vote here. Every vote counts!

 

Thank you for your support:

As ever, we are so grateful for your generous support and for all of the smiles you have made possible for sick and disabled children. Every £10 funds a magical Giggle Doctor visit for children in often distressing situations, offering smiles and relief during their medical treatment. 

Your support enables us to reach children who so desperately need giggles. Children like Jack:

"My son Jack, who is four years old, was in the hospital to have his second open heart surgery for a sub aortic membrane. It was in July that he met Dr Teapot for the first time.

Jack had just had drains and cannulas removed, plus bloods taken ad scans carried out. He was also not eating or drinking, so he was exceptionally lethargic and upset.

Dr Teapot helped to distract him from the environment he had been living in for over a week. They helped him to feel like a 'normal child' again.

Play in hospital is crucial to help children remain children. Being in a hospital environment can really affect a child's self-esteem and psychological well-being. The visit has helped Jack to realise that not everything that happens during a hospital stay has to be negative. Jack is looking at more open heart surgery in the future and it helps to remember the fun times of Dr Teapot's visit.

 

Thank you so much for your generous support and for helping us make these magical moments happen. 

 

 

Links:

 
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