Stand Up For Yourself
Chance4Young’s Stand-Up Comedy Project
At the beginning of 2022, Islington Mind’s Chance4Young service partnered with Head Held High to host a 6-week stand-up comedy course, Stand Up for Yourself, in one of their drop-in centres. The participants learned the craft of comedy and received one-on-one coaching from professional comedian Tash Alexander. The group worked towards the goal of performing their own live stand-up set.
The Stand Up for Yourself sessions were designed to help individuals to grow in confidence through comedy, and to improve mental health, well-being, and vocational opportunities.
Through each session, participants learned skills like the art of improvisation, how to find the funny in your life, and presentation and microphone skills. Finally, the participants performed a show of 5-minute stand-up comedy sets at a local venue.
Running these workshops within the familiar setting of Islington Mind’s centres provided a safe, supportive space for participants to try something new.
Virgin on Funny
Head Held High put on “Virgin on Funny” on 29 June at the Radicals & Victuallers pub in Islington.
The majority of the participants had come from Islington Mind and had taken part in our challenging stand-up comedy course Stand Up for Yourself.
The show was a huge success and drew some incredibly positive feedback from the audience and performers alike.
Last night’s show was highly successful, and I was a very proud
The participants told us:
Got my mind going! Creative thoughts brought out the fun side of me. Supportive and encouraged
Just an amazing group – amazing teacher in Tash. Just amazing all round and loads of fun!
Truly feel everyone needs to do this! Great for confidence and the comedian in all of us
Felt empowered, confident, and a belief in myself. See myself in a better light and want to continue with comedic work. Cannot thank Tash enough for the professional, enjoyable, challenging and interesting way she ran the course
Gets your creative juices flowing and injects some funny into your bones. Laughing is healing! Great class full of positive feedback and encouragement
Tash told us:
Doing stand-up takes courage and being brave and helps the individuals to reveal their bigger selves and find the funny in their lives.
Knowing the challenges that the participants had been going through, I was extra proud of them when they got up and made the room laugh. It was a massive achievement for them and Head Held High and this work is much needed, especially now.
Corinna, Islington Mind’s Chance4Young Team Leader, told us:
Discovering that you can be funny and make people laugh is a huge confidence boost. the comedy workshop had the potential to change the way our clients see and think about themselves
It was very powerful and had a great impact on our service users. Watching the performers develop during the course showed that this kind of work can be a life changer – it can change how you perceive yourself for the better.
Tash was brilliant tutor, she got everyone on board and made it most enjoyable. Tash was always mindful of how people felt when they came to the sessions and provided brilliant support to all of them.
Hosting the course within Islington Mind’s centres was ideal. The safety of a familiar environment, with staff they knew present, provided a safe and therapeutic space where participants could be supported throughout.
We Need Your Help!
We would love to host another Stand Up for Yourself course and performance. Project like these are only possible through generous donations from partner organisations, and from the community.
Posted on: 18th July 2022