Headspace Bolton have been offering virtual masterclasses in stand up comedy to those in the area affected by mental health issues.

The charity has been providing the online training sessions along with other activities and support during the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative was set up by Stephen Pulling and Ginny Allende-Cullen, with input from young people living in the borough who have experienced mental health issues.

The group perform regularly in theatres and cafes, and frequently run a regular comedy night. However, they had to take things online due to the virus.

Project co-ordinator Ginny said: "Our members really appreciate the routine and human contact, which is so important to their wellbeing.

"It's so important to continue as much as we can during this time. Anyone supporting The Health Lottery is helping groups like us who would otherwise be vulnerable.

"One man who wasn't able to join the group previously, due to having pneumonia, is now able to join in online.

"It also gives the opportunity for people who may not have had the courage to join at first, to now join in online."

One of the members, Terry, has revealed how important the group is for him. He said: "The people that you see week in, week out at the sessions become part of your own support network. Getting to interact with those people regularly is a really important part of it.

"You come to rely on those people so having it taken away by the coronavirus has the potential to lead you into a black hole of mental health problems.

"So it's been exceptional that we've been able to get together online and see the familiar faces and have those social interactions that people need."