Loughborough Echo

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.

 ?? ?? Rob Gee. Picture: Nick Rawle
Rob Gee. Picture: Nick Rawle

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