The Kids’ Clown Concert for Doctors

Austin Sweeney, age 5, who was recently a patient in the hospital, was visited by the Clown Doctors’ during his stay. His parents, teachers and friends were so inspired by the Clown Doctors approach to therapeutic play that they decided to put on a show to raise money. Parents, grandparents, teachers and carers listened to a musical extravaganza with songs like “Bare Necessities” and “Just one small voice”, and £540 was rasied from ticket sales, a raffle, cake stall, and spontaneous donations which will be donated to support the Clown Doctors’ programme, through The Children’s Foundation who fund the project.

The Clown Doctors visit sick children in the Great North Children’s Hospital to support them through what can be a traumatic and frightening time. Experienced sensitive artists work with the children to help them come to terms with their situation using the joy of humour and the creativity of play.

Mandy Elkin, Music Teacher at Whitley Lodge First School, “We have been so inspired by Austin’s courage and resilience we really wanted to do something positive as a school. It will be a very hectic evening, but watching the children perform makes it all worthwhile. As a school we support a number of charities, but this one is particularly close to our hearts, as one of the youngest members of our school family has benefited from the work of the Clown Doctors. We are delighted to be able to give something back to this important programme.”

Nuritza Daghlian, Programme Leader of the Clown Doctors said: “The work the Clown Doctors carry out in the Great North Children’s Hospital is invaluable. They are raising smiles all over the wards. We are extremely grateful that Whitley Lodge First School for supporting us to continue this work.”

Professor Stephen Singleton retired Medical Director, Regional Director of Health and Chief Knowledge Officer, and current Chairman of The Children’s Foundation says “The difference the Clown Doctors have made to children and their families can be felt wherever they work, and we are immensely proud to have such a high-quality arts-in-health programme in the region. As the Clown Doctor Programme enters its eighth year of delivery I would like to commend their work in bringing laughter and smiles to hospitalised children in the North East.”