Funny Business Training

ABOUT US

Map of Merseyside - The Comedy Trust
Our Vision
To Create happier, healthier people through the power of laughter and comedy
Our Mission
Since 2002, The Comedy Trust have helped more than ten thousand people use humour to become happier and healthier

We empower participants to harness the positive power of humour in their daily lives to build resilience, create connections, boost confidence and develop alternative coping strategies. 

We value a healthy, creative and flexible work environment for staff, with respect diversity.

Our Aims:

  • To advocate the power of humour for positive mental wellbeing

  • To explore the evolving relationship between humour and health

  • To develop creativity, confidence and communication skills

Our Objectives:

  • To deliver high quality, year round programmes for all

  • Deliver an annual comedy festival in Liverpool that celebrates our work

  • To develop wellbeing projects in collaboration with other health agencies, organisations and businesses across the UK

THE TEAM
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Sam Avery (He/Him)

Artistic Director

Sam Avery is a 13 year veteran of the comedy circuit and is passionate about helping individuals increase their confidence, communications skills and personal resilience. With over 11 years working at The Comedy Trust Sam is involved in powering and transforming all parts of the organisation.

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Charlene Davies (She/Her)

Operations & Fundraising Manager

Charlene joined the team in 2015 on a three month industry placement as part of her Arts Management Degree at Liverpool's Institute for Performing Arts. Upon graduating she's started working for us on a full time basis as an Administrative Assistant. Since then her role has grown, initially being promoted to Project Manager of our youth work, to 2021 marking a new venture as she moves into her new role as Operations and Fundraising Manager of the charity. Charlene is passionate about harnessing alternative and creative practises as a life-changing and accessible platform to enhance mental wellbeing, improve people’s confidence and enable them to realise their true potential and self-worth.

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Cameron Jones (He/Him)

Community Outreach Practitioner & Project Manager of Feeling Funny Youth St Helens

Cameron first started stand up comedy at the age of 14 when he attended The Comedy Trust's Feeling Funny Course to help improve his confidence at school. Since then he has performed in venues across the North West and was runner up at the comedy store's King Gong at the age of 18. Since then he has achieved a BA Hon's Degree in Acting and and most recently an MA in Filmmaking from Sheffield Hallam University. He is interested in stories that are developed from real people and real experience. His sessions focus on using humour to combat difficult moments in life in an attempt to build resilience and spark important conversation... Have a laugh and make people think, that’s the plan!

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Siobhan Roxburgh (She/Her)

Project Manager - Laughter After Loss

Siobhan first came across the Comedy Trust in 2009, when she was taught stand-up comedy by Sam Avery. She spent several years since then, living the dream, working in the funeral industry during the day, while being rather silly with Liverpool improv troupe, Impropriety, in the evenings. Project managing Laughter After Loss was probably an obvious step for someone with that background. Siobhan also works at LIPA, where she is the Venue Manager, a workshop facilitator and a proactive member of their Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

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Rosie Wilkinson

Community Outreach Practitioner, Boss Your Future Project Manager

COMING SOON 

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Vannessa Park (She/Her)

Community Outreach Practitioner

Vannessa is an actress and freelance practitioner who graduated with a degree in drama in 2015. Upon graduating she joined Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre Community and Education team. Throughout her time at the theatre she's gained over five years experience facilitating workshops for young people and helped to develop and organise annual main stage shows. She has performed in three tours of the production of Terriers nationwide in schools, prisons, community venues and PRU's. She is most passionate about helping young people engage in the arts, whether it be to perform, work in the industry or just to simply have a good time in turn helping them improve confidence and wellbeing.

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Sarah Jones

Community Outreach Practitioner

Sarah is a youth arts facilitator, occasional actor and former stand-up comic based in Liverpool. Currently working with local organisations such as The Comedy Trust and Collective Encounters, Sarah is deeply passionate about using her experience and love for the arts to engage young people with their creativity and talents, enabling them to transform their mental health and self-esteem. Having graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts at Middlesex University in 2013, Sarah is currently studying for an MA in Theatre at the Guildford School of Acting.

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Kate Tracey (She/Her)

Community Outreach Practitioner

Katie is a writer and comedian who has been performing for the last 9 years. She was runner up in the Funny Women Awards competition in 2012. Kate works alongside The Comedy Trust to deliver our Feeling Funny Mums programme and has noted it has been one of her best experiences. 

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Rachel Coogan (She/Her)

Community Outreach Practitioner

COMING SOON

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Rob Thomas (He/Him)

Community Outreach Practitioner

COMING SOON

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Paul Betney (He/Him)

Community Outreach Practitioner

Paul Betney is a qualified therapeutic counsellor that has over 15 years of experience performing stand up comedy. He has performed at venues in Japan and across the US as well as here in the UK. Living with Parkinson's Disease gives him a very special insight into how comedy can be used to help build confidence and improve mental health and well being. 

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Jessikha Ellison (She/Her)

Community Outreach Practitioner

Community Arts Practitioner (also known as ‘Miss Giggles’) has worked with The Comedy Trust in a freelance practitioner role since 2010. Since graduating from LIPA in 2009, as well as entertaining in her family run business 'Miss and Mrs Giggles', Jessikha has worked for BBC Shakespeare Schools Festival, MTV and the Variety Club of Great Britain. We first met Jess in 2002 when she took part in our Stand Out comedy programme whilst in secondary school.

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Zain Salim (He/Him)

Community Outreach Practitioner

Zain is an actor, movement director and arts practitioner with experience working in the community for over 10 years alongside Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre and Positive Impact. Zain is extremely passionate about engaging young people within the arts which is prevalent in his years of experience in youth work. His current roles include staring in Terriers, a professional touring play that raises awareness of gun and gang crime amongst secondary years and movement director for Boisterous Theatre Company, Liverpool's BAME theatre company.

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Helen Holden (She/Her)

Project Manager - Feeling Funny

Recently leaving the trust in 2022, Helen led our adult outreach programmes as a Project Manager for The Comedy Trust’s Stand Up To Stigma Programme and Feeling Funny programmes, which use comedy and humour to address issues around mental health and well-being. Helen's background is in the arts and she previously worked at National Museums Liverpool for 12 years in education and community focused roles. She has undertaken training in counselling and teaching and is very passionate about using creative approaches to develop confidence and increase well-being.