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“Personal stories are the number one way to impact mental wellbeing.”
James Kemsley - Founder of The Informal
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The Informal Founder Speaking
The Informal session in a room
Emma Kemsley - The Informal speaker
The Informal speakers in session
James Kemsley
The Informal Speaker Emma Kemsley

About Us

People respond to people; that’s why conversation is the remedy for change.

Our Mission - What If?

We are passionate that nobody should ever ask ‘what if’ when it’s too late. Let’s ask the question now; what if they heard a story that changed their life? What if they knew they were not alone? What if you had asked if they were ok?

We are the ‘What If?’. The Informal is an early preventative solution to mental health; the point between initial awareness days and the need for medical support. We use personal experience and shared stories to help others know they're not alone in the way they feel.

Through storytelling, shared experience and education, we help individuals to develop a better understanding of their own mental wellbeing, encourage them to make the right choices and seek the help they need.

Our 'What If' campaign teaches everyone how to start a conversation around mental health. We all have difficulties but knowing we're not alone and asking the right questions can make a huge difference.

Our Aim

The Informal represents the early stages of preventative help. It acts as a buffer between the initial need for support and professional psychological help. We help those who don't feel comfortable seeking professional help but still need support.

The Informal uses real-life stories to inspire and motivate individuals. Stories of personal experience are used to break stigmas surrounding mental health and create positive change. Popular culture is referenced to anchor the audience in and enhance key points for a relatable, memorable approach.

Our aim is to broker a better relationship between management and employees by creating awareness through informal conversation that everyone’s wellbeing is as important as the next. This acts as an early-stage preventative solution to a mass audience before psychological trauma support is needed at a higher cost. With Health and Safety Executive recognising wellbeing as a legal requirement, it is vital for employers to offer support for all and continue support around hybrid working. The Informal focuses on human connection to create change with long term benefits in the workplace and beyond.

Our Approach

From being a child through to an adult, we engage in stories. Our lives are engulfed in tales that stimulate emotional responses which educate us in subconscious ways. The Informal is based on this principle to improve mental health. The Informal is developed for those who don’t want to actively seek help, those who feel lost, those who don’t speak out, but need direction and/or want somebody to listen to their concerns.

Combining story, style and service, The Informal method is designed to help individuals indirectly. The strategy improves outlook, focus and productivity without feeling forced. Through effective storytelling, our aspirational storytellers share personal struggles and how they overcome them. Aimed at those who don't want to talk about their feelings, but still have concerns, the concept cleverly helps this group of people who are so often left struggling. Individuals can relate to the story, learn how problems can be resolved and apply it without the need to discuss with anyone else. Relatable support delivered in comfortable circumstances.

We encourage individuals to voice their concerns and actively discuss subjects that they may feel uncomfortable talking about with their peers. Ideas frequently spoken about include grief, stress, fertility, anxiety, communication and work/life balance. Serious topics include a balance of humour for relief of tension. This credible method, approach and informal angle, helps people in a way that no one else can.

About the founder - James Kemsley

James Kemsley - Founder of The Informal

Through the toughest times of his life, James felt there was no one who truly understood what he was going through. Like many others, the thought of professional help was terrifying; there was nowhere to go and no one who would listen. But then a chance encounter with a stranger, who shared his own story, changed his life.

Today, James fills the gap between awareness and professional help. He teaches others how to listen and learn from others and is an advocate for the power of storytelling.

James has personally endured nine failed cycles of IVF with his wife, Emma, baby loss during the peak of the pandemic, caring and grieving for parents, business success and failures and trauma. When he was propelled into a world of challenges, he quickly realised few people understood the extent of the situation, yet thousands of others were experiencing it to.

Life moved on around him, but his story become a five-year battle of difficulties. When he reached breaking point, a chance encounter changed his life. It was the words of a stranger that encouraged him to seek the help he needed. James then shared his story with others. The more he shared, the more he received commendation for his bravery to talk and inspire. He spoke about his life, mental health and fertility struggles as a couple, engaging audiences through real life connection and encouraging others to reflect and become accountable for their own actions and stories.

Fast-forward to today and The Informal is delivering the concept of storytelling on an international scale. Today, James continues to develop The Informal, works with large organisations to help improve their wellbeing programmes, provides professional help for corporates, and delivers engaging stories. He is available to hire for speaking events, talks and panels in addition to The Informal’s services.