Spreading the Laughter Bug

Bringing magical moments, smiles and relief to children in hospitals, hospices and special needs schools
The Laughter Specialists,
connecting with sick and vulnerable children through therapeutic interactive fun
Providing fun, laughter, and precious memories in situations that no parent can imagine
Making a difference to the lives of vulnerable, sick and special needs children since 2007
The National Lottery's Local Health Award: Annie Aris
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Welcome to the Laughter Specialists and thank you so much for taking the time
to find out about our charity.

Our reason for existing is to support vulnerable children and their families to overcome some difficult times. Laughter and Fun are essential to our overall health and well-being and we work tirelessly to provide this to those who need it the most.

We are specifically trained Laughter Specialists who provide engaging and supportive interactions to children often struggling with circumstances that none of us would want to be in. We use a variety of entertainment skills, comedy, singing, puppetry, magic and improvisation, alongside our psychological understanding to provide magical moments and mental respite. We are privileged to do our work and be able to make a difference to families in such personal situations. We work in schools, hospices and alongside NHS Staff in hospitals too. 

We thank you in advance if by learning about us and our work, you are able to help us make such a valuable difference to these children.

A word from our Patron

After many years as a consultant paediatrician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, I know how hard it is for children to be stuck at the hospital. For some it is just a visit to the clinic – which itself can be a difficult or traumatic episode – but for many it is an inpatient stay on the wards. Many children are in for just a few days but for some the stay can be very lengthy. Children with cancer, following major trauma, with learning difficulties, or facing major surgery or with long-term conditions like diabetes or cystic fibrosis. For them and their families time passes slowly, and they are often a long way from the friends and even family. The Laughter Specialists address this with their work. They visit these children, and use their skills to bring laughter and smiles to the children and their families. And it is not just light-hearted fun – it works. People have now studied the effect of clowning on the health and recovery of children in hospital and demonstrated that it helps. This was the conclusion of one big analysis that reviewed all the published data on the effect of laughter: We found that hospital clowns play a significant role in reducing stress and anxiety levels in children admitted to hospitals as well as their parents. (Eur J Pediatr (2016) 175:1353–1360) So we know it works, and we know that it is not part of routine NHS funding – so we rely on charities like the Laughter Specialists to help provide this important care. I would encourage you all to support this great team of dedicated people in their important work.

Dr Rob Ross Russell, Consultant Paediatrician at Addenbrookes - Patron of The Laughter Specialists

Teachers, doctors and care staff tell us they have found our visits to be stimulating and enhancing, but more importantly, the children and adults we meet have said how much they love to join in the laughter and fun and how it improves their well being.

  • Established over 13 years
  • Supported in excess of 60,000 children and their families
  • Trained at Great Ormond St, St Thomas’ and Guy’s Hospital London
  • Based in East of England and aims to grow nationally over the next 5 years
  • Supporting the growing mental health issues children are facing
  • Unique work with special needs children developing communication and life skills
  • Endorsed by top paediatric consultant Rob Russell from the world renowned Addenbrooke’s Children’s Hospital based in Cambridge
  • Scientific evidence supporting the positive effects of our work on physiology, mental health and overall heath & wellbeing


The Laughter Specialists would like to thank all of the children and families who allow us to share their stories.

Our son Joel had an infectious smile that could light up a room. We lost him due to complications caused by his Cerebral Palsy a few months before his 13th birthday. Throughout his short life, The Laughter Specialists were always there for him. No matter the situation, the Laughter Specialists could always bring a smile to his face. It is an extraordinary experience watching them engage him in hospital or at school. When he laughed and smiled he would forget about his disabilities. Joel was such a gift, such a blessing. Our biggest and best adventure.

a further thank you to all of our amazing sponsors who help to make it all possible...

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