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Humour is Serious Business

Training Course

Derry / Londonderry, 27th October - 4th November 2013 (participants from Germany, Greece, Malta and Poland, Portugal and UK)

‘Humour is Serious Business’ is a Training Programme aimed at youth work practitioners (either by profession) or those with a remit for working with young people but who also have an active interest in and commitment to the examination and use of Humour as a pro-active and deliberate methodology in their work with young people and other youth work communities. This course took place in Derry Northern Ireland and brought together participants from Portugal, Poland, Germany, Malta, Northern Ireland and England.


Act-Global Training Project – ‘Humour is Serious Business’ from Act-Global on Vimeo.

‘Humour’ is the continuation of a very successful programme that begun in Derry, Northern Ireland in April 2012.  This course carried on where the last one left off by building upon its initial success with a new tranche of youth workers and explored with them the role and potential that humour has and can play as a tool for bringing about change in their locale.

This course facilitated a  learning journey about humour (and as a pro-active methodology), the different types of humour that exist and its relevance to youth work practice.

‘Humour’ provides space and time for participants to examine a multitude of issues, concerns and questions related to the use of humour in an effort to increase their skills, knowledge and experience of humour as an effective method for engaging young people.

By providing space and time to examine humour, participants are able to develop a better understanding of its use and application and in doing so increase their capacity to use it in their work setting to engage young people and other youth work communities in a constructive fashion, e.g., multiplier capacity or to open up issues, concerns and questions that young people have.

Participants left the course with a variety of new (or enhanced existing) tools and skills in how to use humour in their work setting (and practice) and also with a clear plan for developing locally-based project work as a means of engaging young people

“The power of humour has transformed us really.  I had an inspirational time at ‘clowning is a serious business’ (sic).  I really enjoyed the mixture of activities.  At times it took me out of my comfort zone, but I was in a safe, accpeting space, which supported this.  Not only did I learn in the sessions but I also learned so much from other participants”.

Susana from Portugal

Objectives for ‘Humour is Serious Business’ were as follows:

(i) upskilling youth work practitioners in the use of humour as an effective tool for engaging young people and youth work communities
(ii) enhancing knowledge of the various types of humour so as to increase understanding of how, where, when and why it can be applied
(iii) increasing awareness of how humour can be used as a pro-active and deliberate methodology in youth work and not just as a natural consequence of and response to specific situations
(iv) consider cultural differences in humour and understand better how these can be used to support and inform youth work practice
(v) providing space and time for practitioners to reflect upon the use of their own sense of humour and consider where it can be altered to support their practice
(vi) developing local humour-based programmes to test methodologies and techniques with a view to informing humour-based practice
(vii) the development of a number of joint-actions between partner organisations

Please check out our Facebook page to view the photos and the updated news about the course.