Anna Devitt founded DirectDevitt Comedy & Management Productions (CIC) using her own personal experience and research to create a learning environment where all can achieve. In her own words, “DirectDevitt started as a small idea using my own comedy career and knowledge of how laughter really helped people overcome sad times. Many times I would come off stage and people would come over and say “Thank you, I really needed to laugh today”. These little moments and my own mental health battles got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be good to spread more laughter?”
The qualification is designed to instil confidence in participants while using comedy as a creative tool. It covers comedy as a whole with participants’ own creativeness at the forefront and offers hands-on experience of performing comedy and learning transferable skills within communication and confidence techniques for use in daily life. This Award also covers employability skills, self-development, mental health understanding and entrepreneurial skills. The target audience is young people aged 14+ outwith mainstream education who are more practical learners seeking to improve confidence through creativity. The programme was credit rated by SQA’s Credit Rating Service at SCQF Level 6 with 9 SCQF credit points.
Anna explains, “The main reason I wanted to get the course credit rated was, and still is, that people have skills, some more practical than others, and many times these skills go unnoticed and unrecognised until later years. Many people don’t know what they want to do and Further Education is way out of their comfort zone, maybe they didn’t enjoy school so they think that FE will be the same when it is not. If you get the chance to continue learning either through academic or practical routes – take that opportunity. By having the programme credit rated, participants receive formal recognition of their skills which could possibly open the door to further learning and transform their lives for the better.”
Anna continues, “By DirectDevitt creating a course and getting it credit rated we are showing people from all walks of life that you can do anything you set your mind to. Even gaining a qualification in comedy to use for your personal battles and to spread some laughter. You can have the confidence to say – ‘no this isn’t for me, but I would like to try something else.’ You can get the life you deserve and not just wait on good fortune or circumstances. Be your own measure of success. And so far everyone we have engaged with has adopted this attitude of creating a better future.”
To date, DirectDevittCIC has delivered the Course to over 2000 young people. Establishments include The Prince's Trust, Youth Scotland, Yes Enterprise, HMYOI Polmont, Bute Youth, Glasgow City College, Jobs & Business Glasgow and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The company’s social aims and impact are demonstrated through participant feedback where 98% of people reported an increase in confidence and an understanding of comedy as a resilient coping method.
Anna adds, “Poor mental health is one of the biggest barriers today for young people, but it is also very stigmatised. We want a society where everyone can have access to a job role, however we don’t put any provisions in place for those with mental health issues. We have disabled access, we understand that people with learning barriers may need access to technologies or different coloured paper. But when we are presented with someone whose anxiety took them an extra two hours to get out of the house they don’t hear – ‘That’s great you made it – maybe tomorrow will be better…’ Chances are they get penalised for being late for work/college/uni’… There really is no wrong path to take you where you want to go, but the younger we start encouraging people to be creative and think of positive things they want to experience, the better equipped they will be to secure good jobs. By delivering the Comedy & Confidence programme to young people we hope to instil in them the skills to maintain a positive mindset and step by step guide to loving you!”
For more information on the benefits of having your learning programmes credit rated, or contact the SCQF Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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