The pair started writing and performing comedy together in 2006 and set up Suit and Pace in 2012. They aim to provide community comedy that educates and entertains while addressing serious issues. The duo work in schools, day centres and with organisations like the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
Beth and Andrew are experienced youth and community workers and work with a support organisation for young substance abusers in Fife. Beth also has experience of working with people experiencing a range of issues including mental ill health, substance abuse and physical and learning disabilities.
They received Level 1 (Start It) funding from Firstport which covered set-up costs for the new business, including a website, professionally designed logo and insurance.
The support from Firstport has really helped us to feel connected to the social enterprise world - essentially, gaining the award has given us the confidence and ability to turn our business idea into a reality.
“Getting the Firstport Start Up funding means a lot to us. The money has made a huge difference to our organisation and means we can now feel fully professional, but it also meant that people with expertise in social enterprises believed that our idea was valid and had potential.
As part of Diversity Week in March 2014, they performed five sketches for Fife Council on Kingdom FM to address the theme of discrimination. They are currently working with the Adult Protection Units in Fife Council Day Centres to deliver a piece called Cuckoo’s Nest. This deals with the issue of disability related financial harm and is aimed at people with physical and learning disabilities.
They are also piloting a partnership with local educational company Bright Writing to develop a storytelling session about bullying, for delivery in primary schools. The idea will be tested in three schools in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Falkland. Suit and Pace are also working with SAMH to develop workshops for their clients. They also plan to produce educational material that can be distributed on DVD.
Beth said: “There are lots of organisations in Scotland delivering drama performance and workshops to address various issues but no one is doing it with a comedy slant. The feedback from our audiences suggests that it’s a really good tool for engaging people and getting them to think about their issue or condition in a different way.”