Meet Ynés Suárez Cortina. By day, she works in the engineering department at thyssenkrupp Norte in Mieres, Spain. On many evenings and weekends, though, she puts on her superhero costume and becomes… a children’s hospital clown.
Hospital clowns, sometimes called clown doctors, are specially trained people who volunteer time at hospitals or other care facilities. They model their activities on those of circus clowns and, just like them, spread smiles and laughter by using juggling, magic, jokes, music, stories, and physical comedy.
Clown Ynés is a part of Cosquiclowns Payasos Hospitalarios. Cosquiclowns began in 2010, and currently has six fully-trained clowns, as well as several clowns-in-training. They make regular visits to the pediatric ward at the Hospital Cabueñes de Gijón as well as to patients of all ages at various other health care facilities in and around the city of Gijón.
“At first I was simply curious about how I could help others, but I quickly fell in love with being a hospital clown. It’s amazing how just showing up in funny clothes with a big red nose can brighten up someone’s day!”
Ynés Suárez, thyssenkrupp Norte, Mieres, Spain
Hunter “Patch” Adams is credited with founding hospital clowning in the 1970s. It grew and spread, but it was the 1998 film, starring comedian Robin Williams as Patch, that really brought clown care to global attention. Hospital clowns are now common in countries all over the world from Brazil, South Africa, and Australia to Israel, Hong Kong and, of course, Spain.
Hospital stays are never easy – especially for kids. This video shows the faces of hospitalized children who need cheering up, together with the volunteer clowns who dress up in funny clothes and act silly to help those kids feel a bit better.
An interesting thing happens when clowns appear and jokingly parody hospital routines. Patients forget that they are scared, anxious, lonely, or bored. Laughter is truly just what the doctor ordered for hospitalized children, offering both psychological and physiological benefits for them, their families, and even hospital doctors and nurses.
Clowning isn’t for everyone, but everyone can still take part and assist the work of the hospital clowns “behind the scenes.” In this case, her co-workers raised money to support Ynés after reading an article about what she does after work in an employee newsletter. thyssenkrupp Elevator employees know how important it is to help people in need. Not only that: they know how vital it is to have fun!
“Every visit I make to a hospital or clinic reenergizes me with something indescribably wonderful. You could almost say that I give less than I receive.”
Ynés Suárez, Volunteer Hospital Clown
With international social work programs and development projects across the globe, thyssenkrupp Elevator volunteers provide support where it’s needed the most.To the project