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 workshopParticipants 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 workshopParticipants 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

A 14-year-old boy from south London has admitted “unlawfully and maliciously” stabbing a fellow teenager during a brutal assault in Romford, a court has heard.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said she visited Elm Park last week because it is “a lovely place that has suffered serious violence in recent months”.

Police are searching for a driver who fled the scene after their car ploughed through a Romford home’s front garden late last night (Sunday, August 19).


“It’s a great way to connect your body and mind. We live such hectic lifestyles that we sometimes just need some time to relax and forget about all our worries.”

Havering is ranked 11th worst in the country for falling short of its government target for building new homes, according to the latest government figures.

Yesterday, 15:00

The term Roding as a place name is a unique phenomenon, Prof Ged Martin explains why.

Yesterday, 10:00

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now