Theodora Children's Charity

It’s easy to see why the WCB supports this amazing charity

Theodora Children’s Charity believes that all children deserve laughter and the heart of its mission is to improve children’s experience of hospital. Just two very good reasons why the Worshipful Company of Butchers supports with time and finance.

The charity was founded in 1994, in memory of Theodora Poulie, the mother of Founders, André and Jan Poulie. When André was young he was involved in a serious accident and spent months in hospital away from his friends and loved ones. His mother would visit him every day and it is her warmth and the laughter and joy she gave him that he remembers most from that time. When Theodora sadly passed away, André and Jan decided to create a charity to bring the same feelings of joy to sick and disabled children for generations to come, as well as creating the concept that would make this mission a reality – the Giggle Doctors.

child in hospital

The Giggle Doctors are skilled performers trained to work in the medical environment. By combining music, play, improvisation and storytelling they bring magical moments to children and their families.

The very first Giggle Doctor visit was to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1994. 25 years later and there are 24 Giggle Doctors who visit 33,000 children a year at 21 hospitals, three hospices and two specialist care centres across England. The hospitals range from Leeds General Infirmary and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in the north, down to Southampton General Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton in the south of England.

Children of all ages are seen, from 0-18 years old, regardless of what condition they are receiving care for. They may be in hospital for a variety of reasons; some will visit the hospital as outpatients for treatments such as dialysis or day surgery procedures. Others, such as those with illnesses like cancer or leukaemia, can spend weeks or even months in hospital. The Giggle Doctor visits enable the children to laugh, be silly and express themselves in a way they do not always have the opportunity to do whilst in hospital. These magical moments allow the children to be children again and not worry about their illness for a short period of time.

A massive thank you to Dr Hip Hap and Dr Flowerpot, both who visited Byron on the verge of a melt down because he was very scared about being in hospital again. Both Mum and Dad weren't far from tears also, knowing he would rather be doing what little boys do best. A few minutes after saying “hi” we were all laughing and having a wonderful time, and Byron now thinks hospitals are great fun. Laughter really is the best medicine. Thank you, you have worked wonders

Find out more about the work Theodora carries out: