Cumbernauld citizens are being encouraged to come along to an afternoon of free entertainment and lessons in singing, guitar playing and comedy later this month courtesy of a special ‘Gather Thigether’ event being hosted as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2022.
Fool On, a North Lanarkshire organisation which promotes recovery from mental health issues through performing arts, is providing a unique experience in which local people can enjoy performances and learn a range of musical and other skills on Saturday 21 May 2022 at Cornerstone House (1 Esk Walk, Cumbernauld, G67 1BZ).
The afternoon will open from 12.30pm-1.30pm with a showcase from the organisation’s Cumbernauld participants, who will be performing some of their personal favourite songs and crowd pleasing acts. Those providing the entertainment are ordinary people who have developed talents in guitar, bass, piano, singing, comedy and songwriting through participation in weekly group workshops.
This will be followed by facilitated taster sessions from 2.00pm-3.30pm, offering attendees an opportunity to learn and try out basic skills in songwriting, singing, comedy and guitar. Tea, coffee and snacks will be served on the day, and free places for the event can be booked by clicking here.
Organised as part of the 16th annual hosting of Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (4-24 May 2022), the event will see Fool On joined by other local organisations and charities that offer mental health support across Greater Cumbernauld. The initiative has an underpinning theme of exploring how engagement in the arts can help prevent mental ill health and challenge mental health stigma.
Fool On was started by a group of individuals who had a lived experience of a mental health issue, and who also had an interest in the performing arts. The organisation focusses on the positives of how creative writing, comedy and music can play an important role in helping people recover from and cope with illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic attacks and much more.
To this end, the charity facilitates an array of workshops across North Lanarkshire and online. These workshops provide a space for people to learn a musical instrument, singing, stand up comedy, musical theory, playing in a band, recording techniques and other practical skills.
This includes a weekly workshop which takes place every Thursday from 1.00pm-3.00pm at Cornerstone House, to which the organisation extends an open invitation. By coming along to the group, participants are not pressurised or asked to share any information about their mental health with others. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“For those who enjoy performing, opportunities exist to take part in organised Fool On comedy and music shows. Current music bands supported by Fool On include Free4All, a party band which performs popular songs at various fundraisers and events, and Darker Shade, which covers more advanced rock music.
“The charity is doing an outstanding job in raising awareness and helping people recover from mental health issues. We are delighted that the organisation is hosting such a special event this month at Cornerstone House and Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is fully behind this activity.
“Everyone has mental health and it’s important to take care of it. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems such as depression and anxiety, to rarer issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
“It doesn’t matter how successful you are or how much you seemingly have going for you in life; mental health problems can strike anyone. It’s not a sign of weakness or failure in any way, it’s an illness. And like any illness or injury, with the right treatment things can get better and you can become stronger again.”
In addition to the Cumbernauld Group, Fool On hosts parallel sessions in other areas of North Lanarkshire. These include groups in Bellshill (Tuesday’s from 1.00pm-3.00pm at Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre), Motherwell (Wednesday’s from 6.00pm-8.00pm at Fool On Hub and Thursday’s from 6.30pm-8.30pm at Forgewood Community Centre) and Wishaw (Monday’s from 1.00pm-3.00pm at CentrePoint in Gowkthrapple).
Cornerstone House Centre continues to be an advocate of helping the people of Greater Cumbernauld to improve their mental health. In this respect, the organisation is a provider of free courses such as Living Life to the Full, an award-winning programme which aims to support people experiencing low mood, depression and anxiety by using the approach of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
For further information about the performance and taster session event being hosted by Fool On or its weekly Cumbernauld group, please contact the organisation on 07591 241973 or email email@example.com. More details can also be obtained by visiting the organisation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.