Live at the Apollo star, Andi Osho has a ‘Lotto’ laughs with London’s unique Mental Health Comedy School

A North London based charity are laughing back to positive mental health thanks to £120,000 of National Lottery funding. Using comedy rather than medical intervention, The Comedy School, supports those who have mental health difficulties to re-integrate into work, their community and family life.

The Comedy School’s Wellbeing Project was presented with a big cheque from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity across the UK. Patron and supporter of The Comedy School, Andi Osho joined founder and director Keith Palmer at a course venue in Brixton to accept the award with benefactors from the innovative service.

The Live at the Apollo star has been a supporter of the charity for a number of years and contributes to many of the social programmes – all of which make a vital difference to those living with mental health difficulties in London.

Andi Osho comments: “The Comedy School has made a difference to the lives of so many through its outreach and anti-knife crime projects and now, with this money from The National Lottery Community Fund, they’ll be able to help support those struggling with mental health issues too. I’m thrilled to be accepting this cheque with Keith because with every one of its ventures The Comedy School team have proved, time and time again, laughter really is the best medicine.”

With the primary aim of improving people’s mental health and wellbeing, the project uses comedy as an educational and rehabilitative tool, making the learning process not only effective but also enjoyable.

The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund will support Londoners to build their own tailored mental health recovery toolkit allowing them to better understand their mental health, including possible triggers and day-to-day coping mechanisms. Not only will the project help improve communication skills using comedy as a form of storytelling but also empower individuals to take control of their condition – be it anxiety, loneliness or depression.

A student who has already benefitted from the services said: “It will change your life.”

Founder of The Comedy School Keith Palmer added:

“We are thrilled to receive this award. It will make a big difference to Londoners who are living with mental health issues.”

Simone Falaja, Funding Officer for South London, at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, The Comedy School will be able to support more local people with their distinctive and entertaining scheme to build confidence, improve mental health and ultimately help communities thrive through laughter.”

The Comedy School’s Wellbeing Project began in 2016 in partnership with South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Recovery College and Social Inclusion, Hope and Recovery Project (SHARP).

The project is not alone in celebrating the good news – London as whole has received over £17.5 million of National Lottery funding in the last three months.

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Vinita Taglani

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