Clown Doctors NZ announced today that it will be disestablishing as a Charitable Trust as of March 31st, 2018.
The past year has been a difficult one for the Trust with the loss of a significant contract in Auckland and difficulties securing grant funding to enable core children’s programmes.
Clown Doctors NZ has been using reserve funds for several months in a bid to maintain services, but they have now been exhausted.
“This is despite the best efforts of our fundraising and our wonderful partners who have contributed so much to our organisation,” says Chief Executive, Professor Thomas Petschner.
In a bid to maintain the services of Clown Doctors NZ, the Trust will be replaced with a new structure. As of April 1st 2018, Clown Doctors NZ will continue to provide ‘Healthy Ageing’ services as a Social Enterprise under the umbrella of Clown Doctors Asia Pacific Ltd. Under this new structure it is intended to restart the children’s programme when further funding can be secured.
The service Clown Doctors NZ provides to the public of New Zealand is an important one. Clown Doctors started programmes in New Zealand in September 2009 and since then have brought smiles to the faces of over 180,000 patients, family members and staff of health care facilities.
Each encounter was created with fresh and funny ideas, individually tailored and on top of all the ‘feel good’ interactions, they each had an important and lasting therapeutic effect. The impact this had on those receiving our services has been evidenced with the many letters of encouragement, testimonials and support we receive.
Professor Petschner, will remain at the helm of the new entity and spoke for everyone involved about the difficulties they have faced in recent months.
“We, the many families we help and the health professionals who witness our work, have all been saddened by the lack of funds to maintain our children’s programme. However, we remain hopeful and our mission remains the same – to bring joy and laughter to children suffering health problems and to support healthy ageing. We will continue this mission in the same passionate and professional way we have always demonstrated, but under a new model,” Professor Petschner says.