You wouldn’t expect an evening in honour of bereavement support to be crying-with-laughter hilarious, but that’s exactly what a sold-out crowd found last month when seven amazing comedians brought down the house to raise money for the Loss Foundation.
James Acaster, Sara Pascoe, Jen Brister, Luisa Omielan, Phil Wang, Evelyn Mok, Joel Dommett and Tom Deacon delivered their finest one-liners to an audience of over 900 people at Islington’s Union Chapel for Stand Up For The Loss Foundation.
The event raised £18,000 – cash which will enable the UK’s only dedicated cancer bereavement charity to expand its services and reach more people who’ve lost loved ones to cancer by running therapy groups, weekend retreats, socials plus online and phone support.
As founder and director Dr Erin Hope Thompson told the crowd: “We all know somebody who’s lost their whole world to cancer or perhaps you are that person. And the Loss Foundation is there to stand with you, and by you. It’s a lifeline for many.”
In between stand up sets, host Tom Deacon led a hilarious fundraising game, with every attendee assigned to a comedian’s team — complete with masks of the comics’ faces — and a league table for who could raise the most.
The comedians had the audience in stitches with quips about topics as diverse as a lunar eclipse (Acaster), the politics of who pays on dates (Pascoe), moving in with your mum (Jen Brister) and the surprising benefits of being mixed race (Wang).
But it was Omielan’s provocative closing set that brought the venue to a hushed silence. Recounting her grief at recently losing her own mother to cancer, Omielan made an impassioned plea for greater funding for bereavement support and urged the crowd to donate to the Loss Foundation’s fundraising appeal.
Her call to arms doubled the amount raised in just 15 minutes, with the grand total topping £18,000 – enough to ensure the charity can deliver its plans to reach more people who need support at their darkest moments following the death of a loved one.
For more information about the Loss Foundation and how to get support – or give a donation – take a look at the rest of the website. Plus, keep an eye out for details of Stand Up For The Loss Foundation 2019. See you there!