Bringing Clown Doctors to the Sunshine Coast
Delivering doses of fun and laughter! A little humour goes a long way to treating sick children on the Sunshine Coast.
100% of the Sunshine Coast Clown Doctors service is funded by Wishlist.
We are the only hospital foundation in Australia to independently fund local Clown Doctors. This is made possible thanks to fundraising through events and the generosity of our local community.
The Wishlist-funded Clown Doctors service commenced in the Children's Ward at Nambour General Hospital in November 2016.
The inspiring program, delivered by The Humour Foundation, treats young patients with a unique blend of 'laughter medicine' featuring jokes, music, silly dances and songs.
With the help of the generous Sunshine Coast community, Wishlist has committed to a funding the service to bring laughter, smiles and bouts of silliness to children spending time at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Fundraising campaigns such as the 92.7 Mix FM's Give Me 5 For Kids appeal, the 2016 Wishlist Spring Carnival, a portion of funds from the 2016 The House the Coast Built, and the Woolworths Wall Token appeal have all contributed to funding our local Clown Doctors.
Wishlist was able to appoint two Clown Doctors to brighten the days of youngsters for one day a week initially before ramping up to three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - in April 2020. The service is a first for the region.
“The benefits of laughter are real – it relaxes the muscles, helps the immune system, reduces pain, helps promote a positive outlook and has a good effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory system," - Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe.
The Clown Doctors help to divert children's attention during painful procedures, calm them in emergency and encourage them in physiotherapy.
"Clown Doctors undergo months of intense training so they can help children enter the world of play and imagination despite many of them often being in hospital for long periods of time," Ms Rowe said.
"You can never underestimate the power of a good laugh.”
By parodying the hospital routine, Clown Doctors address the psychosocial needs of a child in hospital in a unique way.
Children can forget their illness for a moment and return to a world of fantasy and play. It's hard to keep a sad face when the Clown Doctors come in!