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Comedy Fundraising Shows

Comedian shows support to those affected by meth

Australian comedian and actor Jon Bennett recently volunteered to perform his award winning show 'Fire in the Meth Lab' to inmates at Christchurch Men's Prison.

Odyssey House Trust Christchurch co-ordinated Bennett's first ever behind-the-wire performance in a bid to connect to those men undergoing the Odyssey House drug treatment programme.

Bennett's decision to donate his time to perform the show is based on the experiences of his meth-addicted brother who was imprisoned three times in relation to drug-related offenses.  Using raw humour, Bennett discusses his first-hand experience of having a family member with a meth addiction and of the effects it had on himself, his family and the wider community.

Bennett also performed his show as a fundraiser to an external public audience, members of which were residents at Christchurch's Odyssey House Residential programme.

The decision to present Bennett's show to the men in the treatment programme stemmed from the idea that his story was relatable to those whose lives had been impacted by meth use, and that it was an opportunity to acknowledge affected family members as well as educate the wider community of the impact that meth can have.

Odyssey House Operations Manager Specialist Services Marion Tizzard said that the use of meth was becoming more prevalent in the Christchurch community and that it was an relevant story for the men  to reflect upon.

“I think it's good just to give them different mediums of ways of looking at the effects of their drug use on the community and on family members,” said Ms Tizzard.

Odyssey House provides therapeutic support and education to clients with drug and alcohol addiction, with a mission to improve the wellbeing of individuals, family and community affected by addiction, mental health and related issues.

Odyssey House has been operating in Christchurch since 1985 and is in the process of planning the rebuild of its earthquake damaged buildings. Odyssey House Fundraising Manager Karen Fordyce is working on a number of fundraising initiatives to support the development and extension of current facilities, hoping to raise enough money to build a much needed South Island women's residential service.

Coverage of Bennett's performance at Christchurch Men's Prison can be viewed here (TVNZ)

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