Île aux Clowns aims to improve quality of life for people of all ages – particularly those who are lonely and underprivileged – in hospital and specialist care facilities. Their performances are fun, helping to brighten the atmosphere and build stronger relationships between staff, patients and their loved ones.
Île aux Clowns is headquartered at the Rham plateau in Luxembourg, present in seven hospitals and has access to workshop spaces. The association is currently recruiting new clowns in order to expand its reach and the frequency of visits. Its clowns conduct up to 1,200 visits per month within 16 different structures including hospitals, hospices and care homes.
The role of the clowns is not that of care-giver; it is complementary but is also about more than just making people laugh. Unlike with parents or carers, children are able to express their desires and fears to the clowns. The clown isn't a therapist but the idea is they bring a breath of fresh air. Working with both children and adults, generally isolated because of serious illness, disability or social isolation, the organisation is constantly striving to build a bespoke training programme to support the clowns and help them cope with the emotional strains of the job.