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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Laugh off the drought, bushfire, global pandemic…

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Laugh-a-Minute founder Richard Jones with Ms Yardley who runs Ballina’s weekly Laughter Yoga classes. Photo supplied.

In tough times, Laugh a Minute for Mankind has never been more needed.

The idea was brought to fruition by Richard Jones, who came up with the idea of broadcasting a minute of laughter over the radio after pausing for a minute’s silence on Remembrance Day in 2014.

‘No doubt you’d be feeling a little unsettled considering all that’s being going on already in 2020,’ he says.

‘Bushfires, flooding rains and now a virus pandemic, not to mention gloomy economic forecasts and toilet roll turmoil’. But now, he is teaming up with another local laugher, Meredith Yardley, and they both firmly believe that we must make time in our lives for a laugh.

‘Laughter has so many physical and mental health benefits that people don’t realise just how important it is for our wellbeing’ says Ms Yardley, who runs Ballina’s weekly laughter yoga classes.

Laugh-a-Minute for Mankind

The Laugh-a-Minute for Mankind idea has been ratified by the UN as an activity to celebrate the International Day of Happiness, on March 20, and 2020 marks its sixth year.   

‘We all know just how contagious the Coronavirus is, but one thing’s for sure, laughter is even more infectious, and thankfully spreads joy and happiness to all those in earshot,’ said Mr Jones.

Bay FM will again be playing a minute of laughter over the radio at 1pm on Friday, March 20.

Mr Jones and Ms Yardley encourage all those near a radio or streaming device to tune into 99.9 BAY FM and join in the laughter.

‘It’s free, it’s fun and it makes you feel good – if only for a minute,’ said Mr Jones. ‘And it’s one community unity event that the Coronavirus can’t shut down.’

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