Sara’s story: clowning in a children's hospital

Sara’s story: clowning in a children's hospital

Why volunteer as a clown in a children's hospital? Sara currently works in the NHS. She helps NHS teams improve how they organise and deliver care. Before that Sara volunteered with the Red Cross as a clown in a children's hospital. For four years, Sara chose to bring joy and laughter to some of the darkest moments of people’s lives. In our conversation, we talk about what these experiences taught Sara about life - and how she now thinks, feels and talks about death. Welcome to Sara’s story. 

Hosted by: Sam Meikle

Produced by: Spark the Difference

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Here’s what Sara shares in this conversation: 

00:09  These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. Remember, you can always pause and take a break for a bit. 

03:26  The start of Sara’s clowning journey: creating connections and breaking down barriers 

09:20  Feedback: the most rewarding and the most dangerous moments of clowning 

10:54  The power of (appropriate!) hugs 

12:59  What it’s like to stand outside the hospital door of a really sick child 

17:46  Integrating CoCo the Clown with Sara the human 

22:06  Titti’s story: an incredible, curious and very sick boy 

28:47  The experience of Sara’s grandmother’s death 

34:28  Looking forward: being more present and doing things that matter to people you love 

36:41  Sara’s advice for talking to a loved one about death and dying 

41:48  Sara’s ideas about starting “the conversation" with her Mum 

49:52  Closing thoughts: isn’t it incredible? We can use death as an opportunity to live a more meaningful life. 

A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123.