People want to connect with people. We learn from each other. You won’t remember the 10 second video you watched on socials this morning while munching your cornflakes, but a personal story…a story will last a lifetime. Podcasts, Netflix, Prime, Masterclass…no matter how busy we are, we still make time for great stories. Forget everything you know about wellbeing; we’re changing the way people look at the world with the power of story.
We have honest conversations around mental and physical health. We understand current methods of help aren’t for everyone, which is why we are different. This is more than mental health awareness,educational webinars and motivational talks. We take away the awkwardness around mental health and wellbeing, and provide an interesting and entertaining narrative of support. Responsible actions by organisations can speak volumes, but most importantly how you act is what matters most. We go beyond raising awareness. We change behaviours. This is The Informal.
The way we think, feel and act is a part of life, but during difficult times, it helps to know we’re not alone. We understand there's a no one-size-fits-all approach to wellbeing, which is why we deliver personal stories to help with mental health and anxieties in everyday life, the workplace and beyond. Sharing experiences of tragedy and triumph, we support people who don’t want to discuss their problems but need direction. Through real-life stories we empower, motivate, inspire and change behaviours.
Listening to a story is only the beginning. We work with organisations of any size, location or industry. Our storytelling is adaptative for all your needs.
The Informal is for everyone. The people like me and you. For people who get stressed but carry on. For those who don’t ask for help. For those who smile and say they’re ok. Those intimidated by the idea of therapy. We’re for everyone with a beating heart. We support people through everyday challenges and encourage them to seek the help they need through the power of story.
Motivated by personal experience, The Informal delivers candid storytelling, story groups, specialist conversations and workplace support that creates change, encourages human connection and builds resilience. We help reduce absence, stress, anxiety and burnout. Our stories demonstrate how to survive the toughest of challenges and find inner strength while juggling work and life.
From an early age we are encouraged to learn from fairytales and fables, and as an adult it’s no different. Our lives are immersed in stories that stimulate emotional responses which educate us in a subconscious way. While film and social media provides entertainment, the stories of others can become a survival guide. Personal stories are the fastest and most effective way to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
When developed and used purposefully, storytelling can be transformative. We use stories of tragedy to triumph to capture attention, build confidence, motivate and see challenges from a new perspective. Listening to another person’s experience offers security, helps us feel less alone and encourages us to understand and validate our own feelings.
Our storytellers encourage listeners to delve deeper into their emotions, learn from others and become accountable for making a positive change in their lives.
Here's a little science lesson for you. Storytelling is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Scientists have found that chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins are released when engaging with a story. These chemicals create a connection, lower stress and enhance positive feelings. Through our own beliefs, ideas and personal experiences, we are able to analyse and take away lessons from a storyteller’s perspective, preparing us for challenges that we may face today or in the future.
What if you heard a story that changed your life? Our storytelling sessions are developed to improve mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace and beyond. Inspirational, powerful and emotionally stimulating, our stories have long lasting positive effects.
Told by passionate storytellers and mental health advocates, stories discuss relatable topics, everyday challenges and sensitive subjects. Our stories get to grips with the weird behaviour we all experience. Recognising behaviour is the first step to getting a handle on it. We bring back a human connection to the world of wellbeing, by making people care about themselves and others.
Stories are delivered with comic effect, think Ricky Gervais’ ‘AfterLife’, though we can’t promise to be as funny, and heart-warming moments to make sure you remember long after you’ve left your seat. We’ll laugh and cry together - we’ll share the reality of life, as tough as it may be at times.
We use real stories, by real people, not just mental health advocates but individuals who have overcome huge challenges and continue to do so. They demonstrate strength and mental resilience, and now they share their experience, abilities, and coping mechanisms with others. We provide individuals with the encouragement and strength to share their problems and pursue the help they need without fear or judgement.
There are no complicated routines, no fancy lingo - just honest raw conversation which takes listeners on a journey of shared experience, validation and accountability to making a positive change.
Take our inspirational stories one step further with our narrative sessions. During each group our storyteller leads with their experience and encourages participants to share personal stories and challenges. Once one person shares, another follows, it’s what we like to call the ‘ripple effect’.
Led by our storytellers, the narrative sessions help individuals to feel less alone, validate their own feelings and share coping mechanisms with each other. Colleagues find connection, common ground and can support each other moving forward, creating a happier work culture.
When the tears fell, there was no one around to help. That’s the reality of mental health, and story, founder of The Informal, James Kemsley, knows all too well. James has walked in the shoes of the people he helps. He understands what it’s like to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders with no outlet. He personally knows how terrifying the idea of therapy and counselling can feel. During the hardest moments of his life,workplace wellbeing and mental health campaigns didn’t help.
When you’re at a low point, a joke a day via email, meditation or social breakfasts are not the answer to your problems. James wanted to speak to someone who had been through what he was feeling. He needed to know he wasn’t the only one to feel like this. It was the story of a stranger that changed his life and encouraged him to seek the help he needed. Now he helps others do the same with The Informal.
Within each story are nuggets of knowledge which help individuals to understand, cope and develop. We won’t bore you with facts and stats, just inspiring, incredible stories of human survival and resilience. We use real talk. Real experience. We start conversations by using the right words. We encourage connection through shared experience to help others feel less alone.
Our stories encourage individuals to get the help they need without fear, and in their own time. We engage and educate an audience in helping themselves. Listening to the stories of others helps build self-confidence, belief in your ability to cope and puts your own problems into perspective. Our stories stay with individuals for years to come, continuing to help them through difficult stages of life.
We bring workplace wellbeing to life with personal stories and experience. Adaptable and interlinking for every organisation, our storytelling concepts are creating happier people and workplaces around the world. Let's get real and start your next chapter.
Hire a storyteller to improve mental wellbeing in your workplace and beyond.
Build a community. Get people talking and sharing with our group sessions.
Develop the story further with talks and workshops from wellbeing professionals.
Overcome stress and burnout with our rejuvenation and connection retreats.