The Laughter Specialists in £20k boost to help keep sick kids smiling

The Laughter Specialists

The Laughter Specialists - Credit: Archant

A charity which puts smiles on the faces of sick children has been awarded a £20,000 grant to continue its good work.

The Laughter Specialists train and fund specialist entertainers and performers to visit sick children and those with special needs, bringing interactive play, laughter and fun into the hospital setting.

They have just been awarded two grants for £10,000 each so they can continue visiting Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge and Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, three times a week.

Annie Aris, one of the Laughter Specialists, was “incredibly relieved” to secure the funding.

She said: “For us to come and be on the ward and see the children makes a massive difference to them. If they are frightened or upset we are able to get them laughing in no time.

“It brings them the normality they need, the music, the play and the colours make things a lot better. It also helps the parents and the staff.

“We can help when a nurse may need to put a needle in a child’s arm and they are upset, we can distract them and make them smile.”

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She added: “For us, it is the best job in the world.”

The Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and BBC Children in Need handed over the funding. Dr Rob Ross Russell, consultant paediatrician at Addenbrooke’s, feels the Laughter Specialists provide “invaluable support” for sick children.

He said: “They provide fun and entertainment for children who are often quite unwell and their regular visits make a huge difference to their wellbeing in often very difficult situations.”

In a bid to raise further funding to facilitate visits to several local special needs schools, the charity will be hosting a quiz night in Saffron Walden, on Saturday November 9, in the United Reform Church Hall, Abbey Lane.

For tickets contact Emma Caton on 07831 843842 or

• For more details on the work of the trust visit