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Performance art workshops offer Redbridge residents the opportunity to improve their mental health

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2018

Tina Stewart and Clair Griffin of PALS who run drama workshops for people with mental health issues

Tina Stewart and Clair Griffin of PALS who run drama workshops for people with mental health issues

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Redbridge residents struggling with mental health issues are invited to take part in performance and creative art workshops to help improve their wellbeing.

Participants in a PALS workshopParticipants in a PALS workshop

Tina Stewart , of Tiptree Crescent, Clayhall, created Performance Art Life Skills (PALS) in order to be able to provide a safe space for people who are feeling unwell and socially isolated.

Pals, which is run by Tina and her assistant Clair Griffin, held their first workshop on Tuesday, January 30 at Fullwell Cross Library, Ilford as part of a six week programme.

Tina told the Recorder: “It was fantastic, everybody had a good time. At the end we asked for feedback from people, and they gave either a rainbow or a raindrop which represented something they had or hadn’t enjoyed.

“Most people gave rainbows.”

Participants in a PALS workshopParticipants in a PALS workshop

She explained that participants don’t have to perform straight away if they are uncomfortable.

“We also add a bit of musicality and story telling. The idea is that the story telling element comes from the participants and then we build on that,” said Tina.

“The activities build confidence, and the relaxed atmosphere of the group makes the participants feel comfortable.”

At the end of the six weeks, the participants will put together a short performance that will be filmed and shared with Redbridge Health Watch.

Tina Stewart and Clair Griffin of PALS who run drama workshops for people with mental health issuesTina Stewart and Clair Griffin of PALS who run drama workshops for people with mental health issues

Tina was always interested in drama but didn’t have the confidence to take part in performances at school.

She said: “About 11 years ago I became unwell. I used to lose consciousness which led to me becoming depressed.

“It was such a big life change for me, because instead of working I was suddenly stuck at home all the time.”

Things began to change when Tina was provided with the opportunity to take part in some drama workshops provided by a mental health organisation.

“I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t gone to those drama groups,” said Tina.

Pals provide a free taster session, after which participants have to pay.

They hope to be able to provide free access workshops in the future.

If you would like to take part call 07709 893637, or email tinastewart31@gmail.com.


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