Rire Medecin, France © Jacques Grison

Press release

Press release August 2011                                                                 

Professional clowns for hospitalized children

Eight hospital clown organizations join forces in a European Federation.

An umbrella body representing hospital clown organizations with professional trained clowns in European healthcare has been created.  With eight founding members, the creation of the Brussels based European Federation of Healthcare Clown Organizations (EFHCO) symbolises the rise in hospital clowning and the burgeoning role of humour and laughter in a health environment.

EFHCO’s inaugural associates are drawn from hospital clown groups across Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland.  The aim of this not-for-profit group is to raise awareness of professional clown work in healthcare, spreading the word to both the general public and healthcare professionals, whilst allowing members to share best practise and working methods.

Since being pioneered by Michael Christensen in USA, hospital clowning has rapidly gathered global momentum. By bringing humor, solace and laughter into hospitals, hospices, residential and respite care, hospital clowns have been found to boost the resistance and willpower of their patients, whether young children or geriatric patients.
Monica Culen, founder of Red Noses Clowndoctors Austria and chair of EFHCO, said: ”The formation of EFHCO is in many ways the coming of age of hospital clowns and this innovative approach to healthcare. We’ve brought together some of most professional organizations to promote the industry, swap information, share success stories and ensure that artistic development across all our programmes maintains its excellence.” It’s increasingly important that our organizations unite and share their work. We’re all delivering amazing work in our assorted countries and now we’ll have a platform to share our experiences and effectively give hospital clowning a cohesive voice across Europe.”

EFHCO expects to unite most of the important European organizations within the next four years.  Once prospects meet the joining criteria, they’ll then benefit from exchanging knowledge such as working and training methods, fundraising insight, research results and an online library on research.

Furthermore, the Federation will represent its members by applying for grants on joint research and training opportunities, as well as organising workshops and conferences and creating pan -European working groups. 

TODAY, the 22 member organizations employ over 1.000 clowns, visit 1.100+ healthcare establishments in 300+ cities and reach over 1.000.000 children, adults, people with special needs and elderly a year.  
All hospital clowns across member organizations are vetted professional performers who undergo specialist training to work with children and adults in care institutions.



For further information please contact:
EFHCO secretariat: Ursula Fährer by email info@efhco.eu or calling +32 489 257 005
Or contact the member organizations directly.

  • EFHCO is headquartered at Dreve du Pressoir 38, 1190 Brussels, Belgium
  • A 7 active members strong board of directors meet regularly virtual and nose2nose.