A local charity has recently been awarded funding so that it can keep up its incredible work providing laughter for children with special needs.
The Hearts and Minds charity provides help to those in hospital or hospice, or families facing traumatic experiences.
In June, 2021, ExxonMobil workers selected Hearts and Minds as one of their charities to support in 2021.
The organisation said the decision was due to its ambition to support families facing adversity by bringing them joy, laughter and creative engagement through the Clowndoctors programme.
In Summer 2020 during the first Covid-19 lockdown, Clowndoctors delivered virtual visits to families direct to their homes.
The families were service users at Nourish Support Centre, a charity which supports families who have children with additional support needs.
Cheryl Proctor, whose son Bailey received help from the Clowndoctors, said: “Bailey had a great time with the Clowndoctors, he was quite apprehensive to begin with but that soon changed.
“They seemed to understand him, and they really interacted with him so well and at his level. It was our first time at Nourish and we had a great time.”
Nourish Support Centre was founded in 2011 by five parents who felt there was a lack of support for Kirkcaldy families who have children with additional support needs.
Hearts and Minds wanted to develop their work further with the Fife charity and help support their families with monthly Clowndoctor sessions.
The generous funding from ExxonMobil workers of £5000 will help part fund these much-needed visits over the next year.
Both organisations believe that meaningful human connection is vital for wellbeing, and that this is especially important when we are at our most vulnerable.
Through the art of therapeutic clowning, Hearts and Minds Clowndoctors connect to people’s humanity and transform experiences of adversity and create a safe space for families so they can relax and unwind and enjoy time together.
Many of the children and families that access Nourish have met the Clowndoctors before at hospital or at respite care at hospices and are excited to see them again but this time with their siblings and families.
Lynne Scott, of Nourish, said: “The smiles and laughter that the Clowndoctors bring to the children who use our services is just amazing.
“And its not just the young people who benefit, the whole family gain some quality time together having some fun time away from the day to day challenges they face. “
Louise Russell from ExxonMobil commented: “These visits will help bring happiness to many local youngsters and their families at a time when it is much needed.”
Rebecca Simpson, CEO at Hearts and Minds said: “We are delighted to be able to support Nourish and their families with a brand-new programme of monthly visits kindly funded by Exxon Mobil.
“These visits will deliver much needed laughter, creativity and imagination to children who are vulnerable, especially in current times.”