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

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 07 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


Havering 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 workshop Participants in a PALS workshop

Tina Stewart created Performance Art Life Skills (PALS) in order to provide a safe space for people who want to express themselves and improve their wellbeing through the performing arts.

PALS, which is run by Tina and her assistant Clair Griffin, are starting a new project at Myplace, Dagnam Park Drive in Harold Hill on Wednesday, February 21.

Adults with lived experience of mental ill health, dementia, learning or physical disabilities are invited to take part in the improvisation based drama and creative art workshops.

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

Participants in a PALS workshop Participants in a PALS workshop

It wasn’t until many years later when her health took a downturn, and Tina found her life had completely changed that she began to get involved with drama again.

She told the Recorder: “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.

“The effect it had on people’s wellbeing, it was just fantastic,” said Tina.

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

After taking part in three months of workshops, Tina was told that funding restrictions meant she could no longer take part.

Tina decided to get some training and form her own drama workshops.

Speaking about what advice she would give to people who are feeling unwell, Tina said: “I would say, talk to people which I know is not always easy.

“When you first go to a doctor, try and ask them what services are out there other than medication.”

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

Tina said: “Come along and try, you have got everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

If you would like to take part call 07709 893637, or email

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Two teenagers have been arrested after on suspicion of stabbing another teenage boy in Romford yesterday evening (Friday, February 23).

London’s very own Night Czar visited Romford last night (Friday, February 23), to learn about how the Havering Community Safety Partnership has gone about making the town centre safer.

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

How will we survive the KFC apocalypse?

This week we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the charity First Step in Hornchurch.

Yesterday, 17:55

A 67-year-old steam train broke down on one of its final journeys shortly after passing through Havering on Thursday.

Yesterday, 17:23

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom MP visited Romford today.


Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now