BBC Children in Need brings a smile to children’s wards in Suffolk

Thanks to BBC Children in Need, which has its annual celebration this week, the soundtrack to children’s wards and EACH Hospices across Suffolk feature fits of giggles, guffaws of laughter and squeals of delight.

Suffolk Artlink’s Clown Round project has been running in Ipswich Hospital and EACH Treehouse Hospice for over ten years thanks to generous grants from Children in Need. The project sees Clown Doctors (note 1) bringing fun, laughter and distraction to young people and their families in hospitals and hospices across the East.

For the past decade Drs Fidget, Misschief, Curley, Buffle and Daydream have been visiting young patients on hospital wards and in hospices across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, engaging them in clowning, storytelling, music, magic, circus skills and improvisation.

Alex Casey, Suffolk Artlink Co-Director, explains: “Thanks to BBC Children in Need, our Clown Round project has been cheering up children and their families in hospitals and hospices in the East for over a decade.

“With their help, the project continues to grow, and as the campaign night approaches this year, our Clown Doctors are supporting and empowering more young patients than ever before.” (see note 2).

A parent at Ipswich Hospital said: “Best medicine in the world, thank you.”

Children in Need’s Appeal Show night will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm on Friday 15th November 2019.


1. Historically and culturally clowns have long been a part of the wellbeing of society and the healing arts. Clown doctors (sometimes known as clini clowns, therapeutic clowns, care clowns and hospital clowns) now appear in hospitals and healthcare settings all over the world, from America to Hong Kong.

2. In 2018, Suffolk Artlink were 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 EACH hospices in Norfolk and Suffolk.

3. Suffolk Artlink is a participatory arts charity. We develop and deliver inclusive arts programmes in communities that bring skills, support networks, confidence and joy to people in the East.  Our creative projects aim to help people transform their lives through the arts, and are delivered in places including community centres, hospitals and hospices, residential homes, refuges and schools. Our work is led by experienced arts practitioners, encompassing a rich variety of art forms, and is delivered in close partnership with care, education, voluntary and community organisations.

4. BBC Children in Need provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. We are local to people in all corners of the UK and support small and large organisations which empower children and extend their life choices. We are currently supporting over 3,000 local charities and projects in communities across the UK. The projects we fund help children facing a range of disadvantages for example poverty and deprivation; children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect or disabled young people.

Story: Rachael Murray at [email protected]

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Suffolk Artlink
Registered charity number: 1110898
Company number: 05354844

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