The Health Lottery helps to raise funds for Bognor

04 June 2018

Making Theatre Gaining Skills CIC awarded grant to invest in a two-year project - The Bognor Institute of Laughter.

Making Theatre Gaining Skills CIC has been awarded a grant by People’s Health Trust using money raised by HealthWish through The Health Lottery. This investment - of nearly £20,000 - will help to create a series of activities centred on comedy training for people living with mental health issues and people with learning difficulties and disabilities in Bognor.  

The Bognor Institute of Laughter project gives members a louder voice, supports them to make new social connections and develop a range of creative skills.

Through the project, a group of local people have formed a steering group, supported by Making Theatre Gaining Skills CIC, with the ambition to develop a comedy club for Bognor. Funding from People’s Health Trust will pay for practical workshops, masterclasses and training courses, leading to public performances later in 2018. The two-year project aims to bring the community together regularly in fun-filled settings.

Resident and steering group member, Sarah Fisher, said: “We’re sure that there is a lot of comedy talent lurking in Bognor and look forward to revealing it over the next two years.

“This project offers a life-changing boost in confidence because we are working as a team, learning all about comedy and moving steadily towards hosting public performances. Most of all, it’s a highly effective way of providing people that are not currently in work with real, transferable employment skills that will help them get work. And it’s fun!”

Since the project launched in December residents have been involved in a range of workshops including cartoon drawing, comedy writing and improvisation, as well as meeting weekly to manage the project’s progress.

The next activity will be a comedy sketch show that will tour to day care centres and dementia support groups in August. The group is also planning a comedy gig night in the autumn in partnership with the community support team and mental health agencies.

To date, thanks to society lotteries raising money through The Health Lottery, over £100m has been raised for good causes, People’s Health Trust has been able to support nearly half a million people and over 2,700 resident-led projects locally.


Media enquiries

For media enquiries about The Health Lottery, please contact Sam Bowen - 07855 794461 / [email protected]

For media enquiries about People’s Health Trust and Active Communities, please contact Robyn Pierce – 020 7749 9105 / [email protected].

Notes to editors

People's Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with each Community Interest Company, distributing grants.

People living in the poorest neighbourhoods in Britain die, on average, seven years younger than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. What’s more, they will spend 17 years more of their shortened lives with an extra disability and have a lower quality of life. We believe that where people live should not unfairly reduce the length or the quality of their lives.

Active Communities is a funding programme for local people with great ideas about how to help create fairer places to grow, live, work and age well.

HealthWish is a Community Interest Company committed to prioritising and raising money for health inequalities in East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove.

The Health Lottery is operated for and on behalf of 51 Community Interest Companies across England, Scotland and Wales, all holding society lottery licenses granted by the Gambling Commission.

Making Theatre Gaining Skills CIC is a social enterprise established in 2013 that provides unique arts-based training courses in the coastal West Sussex area. They work with long-term unemployed people who are affected by mental health issues, learning difficulties and other disabilities. They also provide inclusive cultural activity, from Arts Council funded touring productions to local arts festivals; helping develop community cohesion. Led by former director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Hilary Strong, the project has helped over 300 people gain confidence and learn new skills.



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