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Clown doctors to bring joy and laughs to hospitals thanks to £146,000 cash boost

Suffolk Artlink's Clown Round project has been given funding to continue for another three years. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Suffolk Artlink's Clown Round project has been given funding to continue for another three years. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

They might be doctors – but instead of medicine, they prescribe much-needed fun, laughter and joy at some of the most challenging periods in young people’s lives.

And now clown doctors who bring smiles to the faces of children in hospices and hospital wards across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex have been given £146,000 of funding to continue their vital work.

For the past decade the likes of Dr Fidget, Dr Misschief, Dr Curley and Dr Daydream have been telling stories, performing magic and showing off their circus skills to unwell youngsters.

Their work at places such as Ipswich Hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston is seen as crucial in helping to keep up the spirits of young people and their families during long and difficult stays.

“Our clown doctors focus on supporting and empowering young patients during what can be a challenging time, tailoring activities thoughtfully and sensitively with each young person individually,” said Suffolk Artlink co-director Alex Casey.

And the series of grants totalling £146,000 for Suffolk Artlink’s Clown Round project means the service can continue for the next three years.

Ms Casey said: “Clown Round is one of our flagship projects, and as we celebrate its 10th birthday this month, we are delighted to receive generous funds from Children in Need to support the delivery of the project for another three years.”

Suffolk Artlink was granted £120,000 from Children in Need’s main grants programme to continue delivering a series of regular visits to Ipswich, Norfolk and Norwich, James Paget and Colchester Hospitals.

A further £26,000 was awarded by the children’s charity’s small grants programme to support an increase in the number of visits from the Clown Doctors at two East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) sites in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Jess Middleton, senior regional officer of the central region for BBC Children in Need, added: “Whether it’s a small or lasting difference, the projects we fund make a significant contribution the lives of the local children and young people they support, and we are proud to count Suffolk Artlink’s Clown Round amongst them.”

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