In September The Children’s Heart Unit Fund kindly awarded a further two years funding for the Clown Doctors programme but this news had an added extra bonus!! Read on to find out more….
The Children’s Heart Unit Fund(CHUF) has awarded North East Clown Doctors a further two years of funding to raise a smile with not only children and young people at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle but also those living across the UK.
Not only will the new funding from CHUF enable the Clown Doctors to visit patients at the Freeman hospital twice a week for in-person visits but it will also support a unique new programme of ‘Very Special Meetings’.
VSM’s are online virtual interactions between the Clown Doctors and those who are outpatients of the Freeman Hospital, living at home with their families. Piloted through the pandemic lockdowns, the Very Special Meetings were an outstanding success and the new funding will enable the Clown Doctors to offer VSM’s on a regular basis and reach even more young people across the UK.
Thomas first met the Clown Doctors when he was a 1year old and extremely unwell in hospital.He is now 7 years old, attends out patients
clinics at the Freeman hospital and is one of the first to take part in the Very Special Meetings.
Thomas’ mum said: “Thomas has absolutely loved his Very Special Meetings with the Clown Doctors–they have really put a smile on his face and he’s felt special that he’s been fortunate enough to reconnect with the Clown Doctors. The Very Special Meetings have been such a positive experience for Thomas and also the whole family. It’s made both Thomas and his sister’s days especially when the project started in the midst of lockdown”
Charlotte Campbell, director of fundraising and operations, Children’s Heart Unit Fund said, “CHUF has funded the Clown Doctors programme for 15 years and in that time, they have become a vital part of the ward team at The Freeman hospital and made a huge impact to children, young people and their families across the whole of the UK; allowing them to forget about their condition, smile, laugh and most importantly feel like children. The Clown Doctors bring joy to so many children throughout their treatment by bringing laughter and playfulness to the ward which really improves the mental and physical wellbeing of Heart Heroes and their families.”
From TIN Arts’ perspective (and on behalf of all of the Clown Doctors!) we just can’t thank the Children’s Heart Unit Fund enough for continuing to believe in our programme and granting monies for a further two years of activity which enables us to do a job we love with amazing heart hero’s alongside the wonderful staff at the Freeman hospital.
And as an added bonus,CHUF are also investing in the Very Special Meetings which just blows us away! Never did we think that such a difficult time (the pandemic) would lead to something like the Very Special Meetings that are so unique being created. Is it testament to the ingenuity of the artists we work with and the faith CHUF have in us that has lead us to this new exciting adventure and we are beyond excited!”