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Guest Blog: Meet Aaron, the fun loving founder of laughtercise.co.uk



I’ve always been silly. I’ve always loved to laugh too. Real laughs. You know, belly laughs. The ones you just can’t stop. Eyes streaming, struggling for breath. Laughs that, if we’re honest, we forget all about as the seriousness of life kicks in. We just stop laughing.

Laughtercise started when I met my chief chuckler Harriet on a Laughter Yoga course back in 2021. We clicked instantly and we both saw the potential in ourselves for delivering fun sessions to teams and groups and the positive impact we could have. At the time, I worked in communications and Harriet had been a Yoga teacher for over 10 years. It didn’t take long to realise we both wanted a little bit more and felt we could push ourselves to try something new. We got our heads together and started to plan the business. It was an exciting time and the more we talked the more the ideas flowed and we realised that there was some potential in our vision. Once we had our initial plan in mind, we set out delivering some free sessions to NHS Trusts, Schools & Housing Associations. I saw huge potential in Harriet, someone so natural at engaging with others and who loved to laugh just as much as me. Before long, we started to have weekly catch ups to discuss how we could drive the business forward.

Our sessions started as almost pure Laughter Yoga sessions, but we quickly learnt that Laughter Yoga, while brilliant, only appeals to a small percentage of people. When working with our clients, there would often be that one colleague that just wasn’t comfortable with the exercise based nature of the tasks and we were really conscious of this. We were realistic, of course. In any team building session, there is always at least one person that doesn’t want to be there, but we knew we could make a few changes. As the months passed we evolved our sessions, removing the yoga aspect and replacing this with activities, games and challenges that naturally get people laughing. We started working with companies such as Aviva, Holland & Barratt and Coors in 2021 and delivered our new style of sessions. They went down really well and the feedback was amazing. People were loving the new style of session and we knew we had made the right call. We never looked back from there.

I often get asked to describe our sessions to potential clients…and although I love talking about the craziness and fun of it all, I will always showcase our experiences through our YouTube page to give them a flavour of the fun they could be getting their teams involved in. You really have to see it to fully appreciate it! Our activities are designed to be very challenging and get minds and bodies active, yet always built around one goal…giggles. We are constantly drafting new ideas and designing quirkier and more exciting games and sessions. We have also introduced some competitively timed games where teams can see who can post the quickest times. Do not underestimate the competitive nature of your colleagues! As I said at the start, we all want to laugh. It’s just that somewhere in that 9-5 routine, we forget how.

We have been fortunate to work regularly with our amazing NHS, so our months are always full of NHS smiles. We absolutely love the NHS so it brings us great pleasure in spreading some feel-good. We also deliver monthly sessions to My Online Schooling too, which is one of the world’s leading online schools. Working with Amazon has been another notable high for us in 2022. Their employees are definitely worth a mention as they have proved to be competitive to say the least! We deliver lots of Team Away Day sessions in London too, so although some working days are full of adventure and travel, balance is established on those days I work from home and edit our social media content. I love learning from people, so I try to regularly have meetings with anyone and everyone with wisdom and a bit of time to share it. My new working week is exactly what I wanted it to be. Varied, challenging, fun. Don’t get me wrong, setting up the business has been tough at times and there have been hurdles and learnings along the way. But thinking back to how I used to feel sitting in the office on a Friday afternoon, counting down the minutes until 16:55 so I could log off, I wouldn’t change a thing.

After two years getting Laughtercise established, it has been brilliant to humbly reflect on all we have achieved. We’ve delivered virtual sessions to people in 84 countries around the world.

We’ve delivered sessions to over 34,000 NHS staff across 35 NHS Trusts. We’ve had some real fun along the way too. In a recent survey, completed by an NHS Trust, 70% of session participants reported feeling less stressed after their session. Now that is what we love to hear. Sometimes it’s nice to take a minute, sit back and smile at the fun we have spread. But we’re only just getting started.

Our next target is 40,000 NHS staff. Not only that, we want to work with household corporations like Google, Apple & Microsoft. The big boys. We know we can bring the chuckles to anyone and everyone, so we are aiming big in 2023. Further down the line, we’d love to expand a little and bring another facilitator on board. Someone else equipped to spread the positivity even further. I suppose a long term target would be to expand internationally and do some sessions outside of the UK - that would be amazing!

For now though, we’re ready to get stuck into 2023 and attack it head on with more fun, laughs and giggles!


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