About us: Theodora Children's Charity was founded in 1994 by two brothers, in memory of their mother, Théodora, who brought joy and laughter to one of her sons when he was hospitalised as a child. We transform children’s experience of hospital from an environment that can be scary and isolating into a place of fun, play and laughter. We do this by providing professional performers, called Giggle Doctors, to bring moments of joy to children’s hospital bedsides. By combining music, play and storytelling, our team of 24 Giggle Doctors bring moments of joy and laughter to 33,000 children facing huge challenges with their health, each year.
The need for our work: Each year one in twenty children are treated in hospital in England and a stay can be very frightening for a child. Many will undergo treatments that are painful or uncomfortable and a stay in hospital can also result in feelings of boredom and isolation too. For parents, seeing their child go through this will be one of the hardest things they experience.
Giggle Doctors: With the NHS under more financial pressure than ever too, NHS staff can only focus on providing medical care, meaning there is little additional time to spend with patients. This is where Giggle Doctors play an important role. Whilst medical staff treat the illness, Giggle Doctors focus entirely on the children. Wearing their very own colourful ‘doctor’ coats, which represent their character, a Giggle Doctor spends time one to one with the children, creating opportunities for children to play and interact through music, magic, play and storytelling. Parents tell us that they can relax when the Giggle Doctors bounce onto the ward. For a few precious moments they can sit back and watch their child play, laugh and smile – be a child again. The play is always child-led with each interaction being unique to the child and their needs. With each visit, we aim to: Reduce distress and anxiety; Increasing opportunities for play and improve children's experience of hospital.