We believe joy brings comfort and hopes to children in distress.

It is our mission to alleviate children's suffering by sharing joy and play when it is needed the most. We do this by working with professional performers, who create highly visual, highly-silly performances that encourage children to laugh, dance, wiggle and play.


This is because we have seen first-hand the difference play and laughter can make to the lives of children as they struggle to make sense of things happening around them. 


We know play is fundamental to a child’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Research also shows play hones the resilience children need to overcome adversity and build their futures.

Since 2014, we have shared our joy-making performances and child-centred activities with children fleeing war or conflict in Bangladesh, Greece, Hungary, Lebanon, Serbia, 

Turkey, and the UK and after natural disasters in the Philippines, Nepal and Mozambique.

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We choose to change the world through clowning. Joy and play informs everything we do.

Founded by Samantha Holdsworth, Clowns Without Borders, became a UK registered charity in 2014 and joined a family of 14 other international Clowns Without Borders chapters. We all share the same goal; to bring joy to children living through crisis.


Our artists and facilitators embody the spirit of play and humour. Whether in performance, workshops or training, we recognise that in bewildering circumstances, specifically creating time for people, especially children, to reconnect with the very things that make them human becomes more important that ever. It recognises children and adults have needs beyond the practical.


Our community of monthly donors help to create more joy and kindness in the world. Each donation supports the emotional wellbeing of children living through extreme adversity.  
It’s about kindness. It’s about hope. Join us.

Clowns Without Borders UK is run by small administrative team, donating much of their time for free. Our artists also volunteer their time expertise for free.  We are governed by a Board of Trustees.

Richard Baskott


Niki Charalampopoulou

Tanya Glanville-Wallis

Richard runs his own accountancy practice, Beancounters of Lewes Ltd, based in East Sussex.He sits on the board of several community interest companies and charities – Figment Arts CIC, North Street Co-working CIC and Murmuration Arts. He is also treasurer of Lewes Labour Party.


Nikki co-founded the environmental charity Feedback and was Executive Director from 2011 to 2017. Feedback’s

campaigns and events have been launched in more than 20 countries across the globe. Niki is the winner of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Environmental Justice 

Campaigner of the Year 2015 and

has received awards from Nesta and the BBC Food and Farming Awards.


Tanya is a former lawyer turned humanitarian lending her communications expertise to communities affected by disaster. She works globally with International NGOs, currently  Oxfam. When not based at home  in Oxford, Tanya can be found gathering stories in emergency contexts, gallivanting up glaciated mountains or chasing after Nelson, her beloved Sealyham Terrier.  Tanya’s thoughts and photos can be found  here:            Huffington Post 

Instagram: @tgwallis

Dr Unni Krishnan

Wendy Lanchin

Annabel Morgan


Unni works on humanitarian and health issues, on front-lines where people encounter hostile forces – disasters, military, terror and so on. He’s worked in senior management, leadership, and governance positions for ActionAid International, Oxfam, Plan International, the Sphere Project on humanitarian minimum standards and the People’s Health Movement. He is currently the Director of Save the Children’s  

Emergency Health Unit. More about him is here goo.gl/GmzvMY and 

http://bit.ly/2jqTGn1 His blogs are 

at www.unniverse.in


Wendy read history at Cambridge, and then went into a career in marketing & communications. She was Channel 4 Television’s first Head of Marketing, Director of Marketing at The Design Council, and has held numerous board level roles as Director of Planning in London advertising and design agencies, such as McCann Erickson and Publicis. She now runs a consultancy, The Complete Brief, specialising in creative development and project briefing.

Annabel is a clown, facilitator and storyteller from Swaziland and Malawi. For the last six years, Annabel has a project coordinator, tour leader and artist for Clowns Without Borders South Africa. She is also founder of Creative Beans

in 2008 which develops creative projects for young people and adults with a focus on social and personal transformation.


Would you like to


Are you a 


The skilled performers who volunteer with us are: 


Creative and joyful people who have professional performance experience in clowning, physical comedy, circus or street performance. Often, they have brilliant solo-material or routines that do not rely on verbal communication. Devising new performance material at a moments notice, they are prepared to work long days in hot rooms to make the very best show possible. They are equally happy to adapt performances to work for a room full of children in the morning and then a community of 3,000 in the afternoon.  


Our facilitators have extensive experience and have often already worked with groups with complex needs.


Our performers and facilitators are also some of the most collaborative and generous people you’re likely to meet. They’re excellent at working under pressure and respecting the team. They give support and take advice. 


 It goes without saying, they’re passionate about their craft and what we do.


If you’re one of these incredible people, please watch us in action here (link) and let us know about your work.




There are lots of ways you can get involved to create more joy for children. You can fundraise by doing something amazing like Lee, who kayaked around Iceland or Morgana, who cycled through Zambia. Or you could donate your birthday or wedding or leaving do.


Maybe you’ve got another idea?

We’d love to hear it. Just drop us a line. 

If you’d like to get in touch e-mail us at: 


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© 2014 Clowns Without Borders UK
Clowns Without Borders is a Registered Charity : 1156987

118 Sternhold Ave, London, SW2 4PP, UK

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© 2014 Clowns Without Borders UK
Clowns Without Borders is a Registered Charity : 1156987

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