2023 Winner



Proving laughter really can be the best medicine for seriously ill children in hospital.

For more than 25 years, a troupe of fun-loving clowns have been helping to bring sunshine to thousands of sick children across Scotland. Dr Cous Cous, Dr Crumble and Dr Wallop are just three of 18 talented performers who currently travel all over the country, raising smiles and bringing comfort to kids in hospitals, hospices and special care.

Wearing bright yellow coats and shiny red noses, the clowns have brought joy to thousands of children during the toughest days of their short lives. The group operates in 27 hospitals, as well as hospices, special schools and care homes across Scotland, raising smiles from Inverness to the Borders.

The charity was founded by Magdalena Schamberger in 1997. She also launched the Elderflower programme for patients with dementia. Austrian-born Magdalena was at theatre school in Paris when she fell in love with clowning and Scottish performers and after graduating, followed them back to Scotland.

Magdalena stepped back from the charity in 2017, but the Clowndoctors are still going strong under new leadership, and have now visited more than 120,000 people in total. The father of seven-year-old Ruaridh, who contracted a brain infection while being treated for flu, said: “He absolutely loves you. You are an amazing bunch of people. You filled us with a belly full of laughter over the last 15 weeks while we were in hospital.”