You're viewing an archived version of this project. Please visit the new Big Give site to find current fundraising campaigns.

Project information

Giggle Doctors

At Theodora Children's Charity we bring music, magic and laughter to 30,000 sick, disabled and terminally ill children through regular visits from Giggle Doctors: professional performers trained to work in the medical environment.


Charity information: Theodora Children's Charity

Theodora Children's Charity logo
  • Need


    At the Theodora Children’s Charity, we believe all children deserve laughter. The children we work with have a wide range of complex needs and healthcare requirements. The clinical and often serious nature of the hospital environment can cause a great deal of anxiety and bewilderment. In addition, a hospital stay means they are removed from their families, friends and school, for significant periods of time, meaning that they miss out on opportunities for play and social interaction.


    Theodora Giggle Doctors visit over 33,000 children each year at 21 hospitals, 3 hospices and two specialist care centres throughout England. The visits help to reduce anxiety, improve well-being and increase opportunities for play in the healthcare environment. The Giggle Doctor visits help children to leave behind the sometimes bewildering and frightening world of the hospital for a world of fun and imagination.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help sick and disabled children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care.


    » Send Giggle Doctors to visit children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres throughout England.
    » Collaborate with hospital staff to coordinate visits and to complement their work.
    » Run Giggle Doctor training programmes in partnership with hospital staff.
    » Provide our Giggle Doctors with ongoing training and psychological support.

    What success will look like

    Success will be visiting over 33,000 children and their families in hospitals, hospices and specialist care, and gaining positive feedback from parents, staff and the children.

  • Impact


    A Giggle Doctor visit isn’t just about one moment in hospital or specialist care. The impact of the Giggle Doctor visits not only offers relief on the day, but also going forward to future appointments and experiences. We’ve had parents tell us that it has changed their child’s perception of hospital and makes them look forward to going, instead of dreading their appointments.


    We are aware that there are child protection and infection control issues with this project. Our Giggle Doctors receive training by experts in these fields and abide by our own child protection and infection control policies. They are also DBS checked by the charity and the hospital.


    We collect feedback from children and parents through Impact Focus Days held at each hospital. We share this feedback and photos through our digital channels and updates throughout the year. We also send out three newsletters every year to keep our supporters updated.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £379,373

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £379,373 Giggle Doctor visits Giggle Doctor visits for children in 21 hospitals, three hospices and two specialist care.
  • Background


    Theodora Giggle Doctors visit children at hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres throughout England including Cambridge, Manchester, Brighton, London, Lingfield, Sheffield, Southampton, Tadworth, Birmingham, Bradford, Sutton, Nottingham, Leeds, Bath and Reading.


    We visit over 33,000 children, aged 0-18, every year. If you include family members who may also be at the child's bedside that reach is closer to 100,000 people. Our Giggle Doctors will visit any child regardless of their background or illness to ensure that play, and all the benefits that come with it, are accessible to all children no matter how unwell they are.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been running the Giggle Doctor programme for 24 years with our first visit to Great Ormond Street in 1994. We have a wealth of experience of delivering the Giggle Doctor programme within hospitals to a high quality, meeting the expectations and requirements of each individual hospital. Many of our Giggle Doctors have been with us for over 15 years so we have an experienced team with a wealth of knowledge.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Emily Swords

    Chief Executive: oversees fundraising, finance, communication, HR and Giggle Doctor programme.


funds one child's visit from a Giggle Doctor

Whenever the giggle doctors were on the ward it made my son so happy that the reason why he was there seemed to melt away.