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Aug 28, 2013

May 2013 - July 2013

Dr Dotty and a child in hospital
Dr Dotty and a child in hospital

We are happy to announce that our Giggle Doctors are now bringing smiles to children at a new hospital – University Hospital Lewisham. Below is one of Dr Dotty’s stories from the first visit:

"Jessica was the first patient I met at Lewisham University Hospital, and both she and her mum were waiting anxiously for Jessica to be taken to theatre for an operation. I asked Jessica if she was 'magic Jessica from on TV', to which she replied that she wasn't magic. I gave Jessica a wand and asked her if she knew any magic words. Claiming she had no magic powers or words, I said that perhaps we could use her favourite colour instead. Jessica waved the wand and confidently said 'red', and a red ball appeared magically under her mum's hair! We placed the red ball into her hand to hold tightly, Jessica repeated her magic word and made 2 appear! I told Jessica that she was just so fantastic with the magic wand that I thought she should keep it, as a present, to which she smiled and said thank-you. A few hours later I saw Jessica again having returned from her operation, and just from across the room she beamed a big smile at me and held up her magic wand, which she was still holding when I walked past."

We are planning on visiting many more hospitals in future so that we can bring joy and laughter to even more children like Alysandra:

“I would like to write to you to say a big thank you to Dr Geehee. You made my daughter, Alysandra feel so much better whilst she was recovering from having her adenoids removed and grommets inserted. She thoroughly enjoyed the distraction, the laughter and the humour.

As a whole, she was able to cope more confidently with her post-operative pain and as a result able to work with the nurses on her recovery and was the first to go home.

After she got home, the birthday card Dr Geehee had given her was very lovingly and carefully placed up on display and her ‘honorary’ clown nose is a very treasured possession. Her memories of your visit sustained her throughout her recovery at home and it has been the inspiration of many dress up games and pretend dolly hospital.”

 A parent, July 2013

From everyone at Theodora Children’s Trust, thank you so much for your support.

May 30, 2013

March 2013 - May 2013

Dr I Spy and Dr Dovetail
Dr I Spy and Dr Dovetail

This month we launched our very first Chores for Chuckles week (13th - 19th May) which was very exciting. During this week we encouraged people to carry out a chore (or chores!) in return for a donation towards the wonderful work that the Giggle Doctors do. It was lovely to see so many people rolling up their sleeves to help children in hospital.

Training is going well for our aspiring Giggle Doctors. Our 10 trainees are finishing their Giggle Doctor observations next month and will then start their assisted visits with senior members of the team. Our new intake of Giggle Doctors will allow us to bring smiles to thousands more children in hospital.

Below is a story from one of our Senior Giggle Doctors, Dr Jammi:

“Yesterday I worked in Nottingham. On the oncology ward is an area where children come and wait together with their parents. Some are sat on chairs, others in beds. Some are being injected with their chemo, some are awaiting consultations. Yesterday there were five children ranging from three to fifteen with their parents in this area. It was quiet when I entered, nobody talking, the mood heavy and fearful. I was afraid too. Nobody looked at me as I walked into the room, eyes remained glued to television screens, phones and magazines. One teenager was asleep in a bed. 

I caught a glance from a teenage girl's mum and quietly introduced myself. A three year old boy in Superman pyjamas held on tightly to his mum as she tried to persuade him I might be fun. A teenage girl remained intent on writing on her iPad. I wondered aloud what she might be writing, a letter, an essay, a story or maybe she was composing a symphony or writing a film script. At this suggestion she raised her head and grinned at me saying that this was what she was doing. She was writing a film for her friends based on The Avengers.

The three year old continued to watch curiously and shyly, draped around his mum. A seven year old lying on one of the beds, who'd been absorbed by his television, said that he too had seen The Avengers. Spying a pile of pencils on the boy's table I suggested a duel between the two of us, he with a pencil and me with my toothbrush, maybe it could be an audition for the girl's film? She agreed. At which point the three year old decided to come and hand me the remains of his mum's pasta, at which point the whole room burst out laughing. He proceeded to want to stay as close as he could to me, giggling and skipping by my side.

There was only the lad who remained asleep and another teenager who remained absorbed in his DS who were now not engaged in the scene. I politely asked the DS boy whether he thought the lighting was correct to start filming, he raised his eyes and very seriously informed the room that the mimed lights, three and seven, were broken and somebody would need to fix them. A drink can became a walkie-talkie and a mechanic was called. He then said we might be able to work around the broken lights and said, "Action!" and clapped his hands together which the three year old loved and squealed with delight at.

The duel took place and filming and commentary ensued, the whole room actively engaged in playing out their imaginations. The atmosphere of the room had been transformed from fearful, lonely and quiet to a shared communal, playful space. The teenage boy remained fast asleep throughout undisturbed.”

 Thank you so much for your support, we really appreciate it.

Mar 1, 2013

December 2012 - March 2013

Our team on the first day of training
Our team on the first day of training

In January our new intake of aspiring Giggle Doctors began their specialist training. On their first day in the classroom the 10 trainees met some of our existing Giggle Doctors, took part in improvisation and team building exercises and began their artistic development. The trainees have now completed two modules and covered topics such as artistic play, child protection, infection control, bereavement, loss and coping mechanisms. They will begin their final module in March.

Each trainee will develop their unique Giggle Doctor character based on their own personality, before eventually being issued with a bespoke Giggle Doctor coat. Trainees also complete a series of observations under the supervision of senior artists before “graduating”.

We recently received a lovely email from a staff member at The Children’s Trust, which we would love to share with you:

“You all bring every child you meet a special memory and a few moments of relief from the stress and worry they might be going through. You bring smiles, happiness and love to everyone you meet and we are blessed and privileged to have you share our lives”

This year we are launching a brand new event called Chores for Chuckles week (13th- 19th May). During this week, people are encouraged to carry out simple chores in return for a donation. Top find out more you can visit to download a Chores for Chuckles pack.

 From everyone at Theodora Children’s Trust, thank you so much for your support.

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