Women are the backbone of many communities such as in the running of charities, local authority services, arts organisations and more. Yet their contributions are often invisible and left unacknowledged.
Early in 2023 we ran the successful pilot of our Funny Women Comedy in the Community programme in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Medway Champions based here in our hometown of Medway. It is through these interactions and with other organisations in the Medway community, that we are about to launch a programme of more opportunities, specifically workshops, to build confidence, improve communication skills and engender leadership.
We are delighted that our Comedy in the Community programme has been awarded funding by Medway Council and the UK Government Levelling Up fund to provide two in person events and a webinar. All three events are designed to empower women and non-binary leaders across Medway in its voluntary and business sectors. We want to encourage the support of all genders and ensure more diverse role models in leadership are visible within our local communities.
Good things start at home and our Comedy in the Community programme is the extended and localised version of Funny Women’s established, tried and tested national training and coaching programmes: Stand Up to Stand Out workshops and How to have Fun At Work events.
As an organisation we are best known for developing and supporting female and non-binary creative talent both within the entertainment and live events sector. We celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Funny Women Awards last year and featured on BBC Radio 4 in a documentary narrated by Kerry Godliman, 20 Years of Funny Women.
What isn’t so well known is that we regularly run comedy skills workshops to support people to grow in confidence for volunteering, community leadership and workplace contexts. We also provide training, coaching and corporate event services under our ‘sister’ brand, HERlarious.
We are excited to have the opportunity deliver this first formal project for the benefit of our local community in Medway. Comedy in the Community will be run in partnership with local groups and organisations to deliver skills, confidence and wellbeing benefits, prioritising women and non-binary people, and we will go on to make our methodology available to a much wider community, to support a broader diversity agenda within arts and culture nationally.
The objective is to support participants to step into leadership roles and increase their contribution within Medway organisations to take the lead on local community initiatives. This in turn will build a strong team of creative practitioners to work on similar programmes nationally, building on our strong comedy credentials.
Please check out our event page for details of our programme here in Medway. All of the events are free to attend and we are asking for voluntary donations to support the amazing work of The Wisdom Hospice at the point of booking. We look forward to meeting you in person!