Struggling to cope with a series of events including coming out, a friend’s suicide and traumas from her past, Leanne, 26, from East London, started to suffer with severe depression and sought escape the only way she knew how – substance abuse.
“I was in a very dark place and had used substance abuse to fill the void for a year. Then, after one particular hard weekend, I decided enough was enough.”
She referred herself to counselling, wrote a stand-up comedy based on being an LGBT ethnic minority and enrolled on our Enterprise programme, which helps unemployed young people start up in business, hoping for help launching a comedy club.
Impressed by her ambition and her carefully formulated business plan, Leanne was given a £250 Will it Work grant to market test her concept and later secured a start-up loan.
Despite ongoing challenges in her personal life, Leanne kept her goals in sight, and launched Miswits Comedy Club – an open mic night social enterprise that showcases the talents of the LGBT community and donates its profits to fund workshops and mentoring sessions for vulnerable young people.
The nights have become so popular, she has had to employ three part-time staff and secure permanent premises.
Leanne’s desire to use her past to help support others and enhance their confidence is heartfelt, and as her business continues to grow, so too does her success story. She is a Young Ambassador who is passionate about helping others.