Chris Ramsey cracks jokes with school children to cheer up the region

The Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Alan Smith and Coun Moira Smith with Laura (Front) and Erin (middle), both from Keelsmans Way School in Hebburn and Leyton from St Oswalds Church of England Aided Primary School, Hebburn along with Caroline Hall and Tom Relph.

The Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Alan Smith and Coun Moira Smith with Laura (Front) and Erin (middle), both from Keelsmans Way School in Hebburn and Leyton from St Oswalds Church of England Aided Primary School, Hebburn along with Caroline Hall and Tom Relph.

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School pupils in South Tyneside helped spread some cheer by supporting a campaign aimed at lifting spirits.

South Tyneside Council’s public health and libraries teams worked with local schools and community groups to spread some happiness on Blue Monday - the third Monday in January which is seen as the day people’s spirits are low after Christmas and bills can be mounting up.

Local schoolchildren were asked to submit jokes which South Shields comedian and actor Chris Ramsey judged and picked six winners out of hundreds of entries.

A presentation ceremony was held recently at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields Market Place, which was attended the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith and Coun Moira Smith.

The Mayor said: “Blue Monday helps encourage people to come together and support each other. There is a real sense of community spirit which both young and older people can get involved with.

“We were very pleased to support Blue Monday and hear the very funny jokes that the schoolchildren read out to us.

Chris Ramsey added: “It was an honour to be asked to judge the jokes sent in from local schoolchildren who supported Blue Monday.

The standard was really high and it was difficult to only pick six as they were all so good.

“It means a lot to me to be able to support Blue Monday. I know comedians are traditionally thought of as happy and carefree but sadly many people working in my profession suffer from depression.

“Simple things such as telling a joke or making a brew for a colleague can really help to brighten someone’s day who maybe feeling low.”

For further information regarding activities and events to boost positive mental health, click here.