Spreading the Laughter Bug


The National Lottery’s Local Health Award: Annie Aris

PARALYMPIAN Kadeena Cox hailed Local Health Hero Annie for her unfailing work in bringing laughter to children living with illnesses or disabilities.

In 2007 Annie used her years of experience in performing arts and social care to co-found The Laughter Specialists, a charity which supports children across South East England by providing laughter therapy in hospitals and schools.

She continued to make kids smile during lockdown by performing outside their family homes so they could watch through the window.

Cycling gold medallist Kadeena, 30, who presented Annie with her award alongside Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton, told her: “Your work is key and you can tell your heart is in it.”

Trophy in hand, Annie, from Saffron Walden, Essex, said it was inspirational to have won an award alongside so many incredible nominees.

Looking back on the past year, the 50-year-old said: “It’s been fantastic to be able to share laughter at such a difficult time. To win this award is about getting a platform for laughter out there. We all know that Covid was a really challenging and scary time for lots of people.

“Laughter has got me through and I know we’ve managed to bring laughter into children’s lives that would not have been there otherwise.”

Credit: thesun.co.uk

The National Lottery's Local Health Award: Annie Aris