Comedy is the best medicine at new NHS wellbeing sessions
EVERYONE knows that exercising one’s funny bones can be good for the soul.
Now a Leicester-based organisation is running Comedy for Wellbeing sessions across the county.
Brightsparks Arts in Mental Health, a local charity working in partnership with the NHS, have recived funding from the Getting Help in Neighbourhoods Grant scheme as part of plans to improve mental health and wellbeing for Leicestershire’s residents. Funded by the NHS in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council, the scheme is dedicated to increasing activities in local neighbourhoods, closer to where people live.
The comedy drop-ins will take place in Burbage, Newbold Verdon, Coalville, Loughborough throughout the year. The sessions are run by a team of comedians and performers led by Comic and poet Rob Gee. Rob was a mental health nurse for several years before discovering his vocation as peddlar of mirth.
“I’m really excited about these workshops. A lot of people assume comedy is just Live at the Apollo, whereas it’s more like football: anyone can do it and have a good time.”
“We get together once a week, make up stories, tell jokes and laugh a lot. You don’t need any experience and you don’t need to bring anything with you; except a smile.”
When Rob isn’t making audiences laugh, he delivers workshops for BrightSparks Arts in Mental Health. BrightSparks supports people with mental health problems in developing their creative skills through artistic activities led by professional artists. The drop-ins are open to everyone, with mental health service users being particularly welcome.
The Comedy Wellbeing Hubs will be on Thursdays in the following locations:
■ MRC Community Action, Coalville: 3rd August – 12th October, 11am – 12.30pm
■ Loughborough Wellbeing Centre: 3rd August – 12th October, 2.30 – 4pm
■ Burbage Community Library: 18th May – 27th July, then 28th September – 7th December, 2.30 –4pm
■ Newbold Verdon Library: 18th May – 27th July, then 28th September – 7th December, 11am –12.30pm
To find out more, go to brightsparksarts. No advance booking required – just turn up.
Referrals from professionals working in mental health and wellbeing services welcome.