Samantha Holdsworth's Story
Samantha's Fellowship explored the emotional, psychological and physiological benefits of play and laughter through clowning, in this burgeoning area of research and therapy.
She travelled across America, Canada and Australia in 2012, to meet with an extraordinary collection of people including Sacred Clowns, Laughter Bosses, Humour Valets, Professors of Happiness, Laughter Yogis and Clown Doctors. Samantha’s Fellowship was a life changing experience and directly impacted on the work she now engages with.
On her return, Samantha was invited to teach at Goldsmith’s University of London to share her findings around playfulness and resilience with MA students. She continues to teach on their Applied Theatre Course.
Inspired by the remarkable people she met on her Fellowship, Samantha also decided to set up the UK Chapter of ‘Clowns Without Borders’, a not-for-profit organisation, originally set up in Barcelona, to offer humour as a means of psychological support to communities that have suffered trauma. This has launched Samantha into a different career as she establishes this charity.
Many of the people she met on the Fellowship continue to mentor her and provide their support. Working with numerous UK clowns, in 2014 Samantha trained them to work with children in the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Lebanon. The charity is poised to deliver six more projects in the next two years as it continues to grow in the UK and beyond.
Samantha firmly believes it was the confidence and knowledge she gained during the Fellowship that has allowed her to successfully establish ‘Clowns Without Borders UK’, and set such ambitious goals for its future.