We are lucky to have two clown services entertaining and providing a welcome distraction to our patients at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. We caught up with Pencils who is part of the volunteer group – Coastal Caring Clowns.
Why are you named Pencils?
My clown name is Pencils as I was a teacher for many years and wrote all my lesson plans in lead pencil. I still prefer a good old lead to a biro pen any day. Especially the mechanical ones that are always sharp and ready to go.
How long have you been volunteering with the Coastal Caring Clowns?
I started officially in March 2018 and am passionate about what the group is all about. ie. Bringing sunshine into people of all ages lives even if for a second, with just a smile and a “Have a wonderful day” greeting.
Can you tell us a story of a visit to a memorable patient?
Recently we met a 15 year old teenage girl who said we “made her day” and she “loved” meeting us. She knew many jokes by heart and had us in stitches reciting numerous of her best ones to us to pass on. I always write the good ones down, in pencil of course, as kids love jokes. Here is one of them:
Question: What did the Science book say to the Maths book?
Answer: You’ve got problems.
Tell us something about you that others may not know?
I have a trombone and hope one day to play it as a clown as it is an unusual instrument that can make some rather funny sounds. I’ve had 2 lessons so far but I keep scaring my cat, and possibly the neighbours (in the next suburb). I may need a trolley to carry it around too. Also I’m not sure how to sing and play it at the same time as we sing songs most places we go. If anyone can help me I’d love some ideas please!
What days do you visit the Children’s Ward at SCUH?
We at CCC usually visit weekly on a Friday in teams of 3, though at the moment with some restrictions, it is fortnightly in pairs.