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Arts Health Institute ‘‘humour-manitarian” nominated

By on October 23, 2014
Jean-Paul Bell - Photo Simone De Peak

If you don’t know about The Arts Health Institute please go and find out about the great work they do ‘Bringing Creativity to Care’ with people dealing with dementia at end of life. They certainly understand that The End Of Life Matters and help bring laughter and light back into people’s lives.

I have seen the power of this work first hand when my husband Alex worked with them.

Alex and Play-Up Partners recieve Trailblazer's Award

Alex and Play-Up Partners recieve Trailblazer’s Award

“I made lots of lovely connections with staff and clients and there were some amazing experiences. There was one very elderly woman who was bed ridden and barely opened her eyes. I went in and started singing Georgia on my Mind to her and her singing back from her bed, and shimmying to the music, was a magic moment. There was also a client who was classed as pretty much non-verbal, who connected to ‘Jester’ a large mannequin I took in and she started talking to it and having an extended conversation with the mannequin much to the staff’s amazment.” Alex McShane

It is a precious realisation that regardless of difficulties we may face as we age that we still have within us all we have been in the past, and it is great when someone cares enough to help bring that back out.

As Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the Hospice Movement said: You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die in peace but also to live until you die.”


I am thrilled to share with you that Jean-Paul Bell, who started The Arts Health Institute and The Humour Foundation -Clown Doctors, our friend of 40 years,  has been nominated for a most well deserved award – 2015 NSW SENIOR AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR. – Brilliant J-P. –  We are really pleased for you

Jean-Paul Bell - Play-Up Performer

Jean-Paul Bell – Play-Up Performer


Read more in the Herald report   RENOWNED actor, comedian and humour therapist Jean-Paul Bell has been named as a finalist for the 2015 NSW Senior Australian of the Year. 

Mr Bell, 63, is one of three Hunter nominees for the state awards, and has been described as one of Australia’s great ‘‘humour-manitarians’’ and has touched the hearts of the sick and frail for more than 45 years.

He created the Humour Foundation and the Clown Doctor program in 1996 to introduce humour therapy to children’s hospitals in Australia, published a book, entitled Laughter is the Best Medicine, in 2010 and is known for taking his physical comedy to war-torn countries like Afghanistan and East Timor.

Mr Bell’s great passions are health and education and in 2011 he helped co-found The Arts Health Institute, a Newcastle-based national non-profit organisation, which helps elderly people, particularly those with dementia, to laugh.

A quiet achiever, Mr Bell has dedicated his life and his talents to serving others.

 If you feel inclined to support the Arts Health Institute, for most of us will grow old and need the sort of support they are giving to our elderly please do get in touch with them

Why Support Arts Health?

Why Support Arts Health?

Why Play-up is important at The End of Life - Poem from a grateful elder

Why Play-up is important at The End of Life – Poem from a grateful elder



About Trypheyna McShane

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