EDINBURGH charity Hearts & Minds has been awarded a major grant to support their pioneering Clowndoctor programme.
The Clowndoctors’ project, a specialist arts-in-health programme operating in hospitals, respite units and special schools across Scotland, has received a donation of £6,000 from the Crerar Trust.
Those behind the Clowndoctors say while smiles and laughter from the children is the very visible reaction to their work, the aim is to improve the child’s wellbeing, an important factor in their general health and recovery.
The charity works closely with healthcare staff, play specialists and teachers to structure thevisits to the individual children.
It’s been found spending time with the Clowndoctors, reduces the stress a child may be experiencing - they physically relax, ease tense muscles and slow down their breathing.
This positive reaction to the Clowndoctors has a ripple effect - giving parents moments of relief in the stressful hospital environment and benefits the staff as well.
Phillipa Quinn, Fundraising Officer, Hearts & Minds, said: “Hearts & Minds are absolutely delighted to receive very generous support from Crerar Trust for our Clowndoctors visits. The money will be used to bring smiles to sick and vulnerable children who are isolated by illness. Dr Spritely ensures happiness and laughter wherever she goes; she is looking forward to contributing to the 12,000 smiles she and her fellow Clowndoctors deliver each year. “Without the kindness of Trusts like Crerar our work would not be possible”
Crerar Hotels operate 14 hotels and inns across the UK, of which 13 are based in Scotland. Uniquely, up to 50 per cent of the group’s distributable profits are donated to charities operating within the areas where Crerar Hotels are based.
The Trust, chaired by Paddy Crerar, has awarded £7m of grants to over 400 organisations over the last 16 years. A wide variety of organisations received awards, including those providing support across health, education and social inclusion to people of all ages.
Paddy Crerar, Chairman, of The Crerar Trust and Chief Executive of Crerar Hotels, said: “We are delighted to have made this award to Hearts & Minds and look forward to hearing how this funding helps impact their work.
“Crerar Hotels is committed to giving back to the local community to help it grow and thrive, and provide opportunities that may otherwise seem out of reach. For every stay our customers have with us they are supporting others, who really need it.
“It is great for our folk in the hotels to see their hard work and efforts helping people in their own communities as well as throughout the whole of Scotland and Yorkshire”.