" Hearts and Minds is a Scottish arts-in-health charity. We aim to improve the experience of people in hospital and in hospice, residential and respite care by using the performing arts to encourage communication, interaction and laughter.
We achieve our aim through two specialist creative programmes; The Clowndoctors, who work specifically with children, and The Elderflowers, who work with elderly people with dementia.We raise smiles all across Scotland, from Inverness down to the Borders."
All their "Practitioners", as they are referred to, are actors who spread joy and laughter, sometimes improvised, to people young and old who are facing a difficult time and frightened of what the future may hold. Expertly led by Magdalena Schamberger the organisation has grown from an idea and modest beginnings to a well established and respected organisation that helps to develop young acting talent but more importantly makes a huge difference to the lives of people who are very vulnerable. It should be noted that care staff, NHS staff etc do a fantastic job caring but they don't always have the time to add that wee bit extra. In any case, I'm not sure if they would be suited to the anarchic, slap stick antics of the Practitioners.
Part of the birthday celebrations was a performance by singer songwriter Carrie Mac, followed by a film of the Clowndoctors and Elderflowers in action. It was excellent. It made me cry.