Lucy said: “Seeing big happy smiles is just priceless. I love my job – it brings me so much joy and happiness personally. The place that is closest to my heart is the work I do at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, bringing happiness and joy to a poorly child’s face is just REAL MAGIC.” This work led to Lucy being awarded an honour of recognition by Cherie Blaire at 10 Downing Street. “I long to make people smile and laugh – for me that is the most rewarding job in the world.”
Award-winning Manchester based clown and leading children’s entertainer Lucy Wilkinson, aka Louby Lou, has found a way to keep her livelihood alive so she can continue her mission of spreading joy and laughter, tapping into her 22 years experience of being a clown and children’s entertainer, reinventing her business in order to save it during this pandemic with the introduction of “GIGGLES ON WHEELS’ – a brand new musical van set to brighten up anyone’s day whether you are 7 or 70!
Lucy, 40, and a busy mum of 3, fell in love with magic when she was 6 years old, when her father became Trumble the Clown. Over 20 years, Lucy has had the pleasure of attending some of the best and most incredible parties across the North West with some well-known stars including Victoria and David Beckham with baby Brooklyn. She has also toured nurseries and schools and also shared the magic at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Lucy’s business came to a complete stop over night when Covid-19 hit, big events cancelled, birthday parties stopped, hospital visits not allowed… not only did she feel the impact of the pandemic on her business, she also missed the opportunity to spread joy and laughter. But she wasn’t going to wallow and wait – she decided to set herself a mission to turn those frowns upside down, and spread the joy; initially at the start of the lockdown, this started by Lucy sending messages to customers, and for some she moved the party online and celebrated with them virtually – which was a new skill in itself for Lucy, as her whole career she has been driven by a real audience.
But, this online format allowed her to continue to spread magic and laughter and keep everyone positive throughout these trying times, during her virtual parties and lives she has been joined by; Hacker the dog from CBBC, Ella Chadwick her close friend from the Children’s Hospital, Pete Obsolete the fantastic art guy and even a Robbie Williams look alike… this online shift has also enabled Louby Lou to reach audiences around the world and since lockdown, she has delivered virtual parties in Dubai, Australia and America
Lucy also reinvented her Louby Lou shows to follow government guidelines, moving the show to ‘Giggles on Wheels’ providing 10 minutes of pure magic and giggles on your doorstep no matter what your age. Lucy said: “You can hear us coming in our new jazzed up van with the Louby Lou song, this has made whole streets smile and then when I get my Saxophone out many would burst with joy and excitement, it’s just magical for me to see people giggling and smiling again during such a tough time.” Lucy sprinkles her laughter around like confetti and leaves each home she visits a special gift to treasure forever and remind them of their memorable day.
Lucy really cares about people’s wellbeing, and this really shines through in her work for adults and children with her motto being ‘always believe in your magical self’.
Lucy’s drive to facilitate happiness stems from her own mental health journey. In 1997, Lucy suffered from anxiety and burn out, it caused panic attacks on the motorway and Lucy had to seek help to understand how her mind and body had got to this point. This is something which impacted not only herself but her family and 3 daughters significantly. It was a very scary time in her life as she had to dig deep into her triggers. It wasn’t a quick fix, and was a long process she had to take. Thankfully Lucy managed to regain control of her life through lots of personal development and now she strives daily to be a better version of herself, better mum and entertainer all whilst prioritising self care and daily routines and practices.
As for many, when lockdown came Lucy feared that her mental health would take a dive and her anxiety did start to creep back as initially panic and stress started to get the better of her at the start of lockdown but she was able to tap into some of the practices she had learnt to help her deal with the transition. She said; “I have done this work for so long, I was worried I was going to have to stop, I was catastrophizing and thinking of the worst case scenario, I knew that I had to take control of the situation and keep to my daily morning routine of Yoga, listening to podcasts, running and also it was key for me to set myself goals so I reassessed my business and set myself new goals to achieve. As a result I have managed to keep up my positive mental attitude that I have on life and this enabled me to rethink my business model.”
Lucy is passionate about sharing this positive mental attitude with others too and another arm of her business helps facilitate this. Lucy is also the founder of Magic Word Bracelets an intent bracelet with chosen Magic words unique to you, to inspire and encourage you every day to live a little more magically.
This has been a game changer for Lucy, it’s been her rock in her personal development and especially through lockdown for herself and many many others. As a part of this work she has also been running Magic Mindset masterclasses virtually, which she has delivered all over the world as far reaching as Australia and she had spread the magic to celebs too making bracelets for celebrities such as Saira Khan of Loose Women, and Brad Burton The UK’s No 1 Motivational Business Speaker.
Lucy really does believe that laughter is the best medicine for dealing with adversity and she has been working her magic at Royal Manchester Children Hospital since 1999, helping support children who are admitted to hospitals overcome the risk of stress, anxiety and isolation. Lucy is keen to spread the message that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ – as it releases endorphins from our brains and strengthens our immune system and is on a mission to spread this message.
Dr Lee Berk the Lead Researcher at Lorna Linda University, California said; “Our findings lead us to believe that by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well” and there is strong evidence in this through Lucy’s work as a Magic Maker.