The Smiles Fund
In August 2021 Comic Relief and Walkers launched the Smiles Fund. An amazing partnership between Comic Relief and Walkers, investing in projects across the UK that offer community-based, early intervention mental wellbeing support. Thanks to this partnership, the Smiles Fund has awarded over £2million to 10 arts and comedy projects that support positive outcomes for people’s mental wellbeing.
These projects are: · Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind · Platform Thirty1 Limited · Synergy Theatre Project · Green Shoes Art Community Interest Company · Inspired Neighbourhood CIC · Liverpool Lighthouse · Create · WILD Young Parents Project · The Warren of Hull Limited · Do It Now Now
They all use arts and comedy approaches to start conversations, promote positive social connections and help people build resilience to tackle life’s everyday challenges.
Below is an example of some of the support these projects provide:
The Warren of Hull Limited
Three Minute Monologues provides a safe space for self-expression and exploration of mental health issues through participation in creative writing workshops. The weekly creative writing groups are funny, supportive and emotional and genuine friendships are built throughout each course.
Green Shoes Art Community Interest Company
“Creative 4 Life” is an arts-based project for adults experiencing mental health issues, loneliness and social isolation. Weekly creative workshops provide a warm, accessible and fun space for adults experiencing mental health issues to come and feel accepted, feel a reduction in stigma or discrimination that they may be facing, and engage with fun, creative exercises that builds their confidence and make friends.
Creative: Voices provides artistic workshops for isolated unpaid adult carers. The workshops allows carers to take a break from caring to focus on their own wellbeing, also giving them time and space to explore their creativity and meet other carers.
Please give what you can
All money raised will go to the Smiles Fund to support mental wellbeing causes that use comedy and the arts to start positive conversations.
If you or someone you know is in need of help or support then do talk to someone. We have put together some suggested services and organisations which may be able to offer help or advice.