Project information

Helping sick and disabled children

To 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


    For many children a hospital stay is a daunting and isolating experience; away from home and the people they love. Normal life is often disrupted during a stay - friends, school and play are sometimes lost and pain and worry can be the norm. Conditions vary and many of the children spend weeks at a time away from home.


    Theodora Giggle Doctors visit over 30,000 children each year at hospitals, hospices and 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 are eagerly awaited and always too short. For a small period, they allow 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.

    Success will be...visiting over 30,000 children and their families in hospitals, hospices and specialist care, and gaining positive feedback from parents, staff and the children.

  • Impact


    The Giggle Doctors will provide a valuable service to children who are intimidated by going into hospital. The first experience of hospital can be traumatic, and any way that anxiety can be reduced is a bonus and of benefit. The Giggle Doctor visits work perfectly on this level. They help to demystify the hospital environment by making alien objects and people fun, happy and approachable.

    We regularly meet with the hospital to gain feedback on our programme and receive quotes from parents.


    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.

    Children are only visited if a nurse or parent is present and the child consents to the visit.


    We report annually to donors and send photos and updates throughout the year. Donors also receive 2 newsletters a year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £360,958

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £360,958 Giggle Doctor visits Giggle Doctor visits for children in hospitals, hospices and 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 30,000 children in England.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Theodora Children’s Charity has been running the Giggle Doctor programme for 22 years. Originally starting at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital our project has grown and grown and we now visit over 30,000 children each year.

    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.