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Project information

Clowndoctors in the Classroom

Working with children with complex special needs in special schools, we promote play and creativity through the performing arts, always having specific goals for the individual child. We look beyond their health condition, engaging them through the senses to establish a connection.


Charity information: Hearts & Minds

Hearts & Minds logo
  • Need


    Children in special schools can have complex special needs, emotional and behavioural difficulties, may have life-limiting illnesses and usually have physical and learning challenges. They may experience feelings of powerlessness and frustration; anxiety; loss of self-esteem; and difficulties with communication, social or physical skills.


    Interacting with the Clowndoctors can result in children growing in confidence; having increased verbal communication; showing signs of physical relaxation; and having enhanced social and physical skills. The children can also achieve more in their learning through engaging with the Clowndoctors.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help children in special schools achieve all they can and experience a better quality of life.


    » Our Clowndoctors promote play and creativity through the performing arts to make learning fun and help the child achieve their personal goals.

    What success will look like

    We seek verbal feedback regularly from health care staff and family members during our programme year and we have a formal evaluation process at the end of the year.

  • Impact


    Increased physical signs of relaxation

    Increase in verbal / non-verbal communication

    Increase in attention and alertness

    Increase in cooperation and interaction with staff

    Progress in particular set goals for children, e.g. movement of certain parts of body, communication skills such as eye contact etc.


    Scheduled Clowndoctors being unavailable to work; but we have a total of 18 trained Clowndoctors, so can always find replacements.


    We send an end of programme year report to our funders, but we also have a quarterly e-newsletter

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £11,520

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,720 20 Clowndoctor visits All practitioner costs including freelance fees, travel, resources
      £840 Admin Admin support, marketing and office rent
      £3,960 Management & development Support of Artistic Director and co-ordination by General Manager

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Small amounts from various trusts £3,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We work in a number of special schools throughout Scotland, from Inverness to Edinburgh and from Airdrie to Dundee, delivering either weekly, fortnightly or monthly visits. The Clowndoctors programme typically lasts from August to June.


    The ill children, their siblings, parents, other family members and staff

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We've been running our successful Clowndoctors’ programme since 1999, visiting children in hospitals and hospices around Scotland. This experience helped to shape our Clowndoctors in the Classroom programme, which we piloted 2 years ago. We are a unique organisation, using multi-art forms including clowning, music, dancing, puppetry and storytelling. We deliver year-round activity rather than one off projects building long-term relationships with the children, staff and relatives.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Squeegie

    Clowndoctor (freelance arts-in-health practitioner)

    Dr Squash

    Clowndoctor (freelance arts-in-health practitioner)

Clowndoctors in the Classroom

The Clowndoctors interacted really well with the children, getting smiles and giggles from children who we had never seen do this before

Teacher, Special School