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Laughology platform guru and business support 

Dave Keeling

Psst! - did you know?

When Pam Betts was aged 5 she met Bill Shankley. Bill wanted to see the view from her bedroom as at that time she lived on Walton Breck Road right opposite Liverpool Kop.

A Liverpool echo journalist knocked on the door and asked her Mum if they could photograph the view from her bedroom window just as all the fans were let out after the game.

This meant Pam was allowed to stay up late, she also wishes social media was around then as the story would have gone viral and she would have made all her roller skating mates well jel!

Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    The IT Crowd - especially the works’ outing episode.

  • What would your superpower be?

    To speak any language... even Klingon

  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    My niece left me a note saying I’m the best aunty ever, a total inspiration and a babe – I love the babe bit!

  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    I had a mad crush on a boy at school, so I waited to see what school bus he was going to get on. When I saw he was going for the 411 (yes I remember the bus number), I ran to jump on too. Just as I boarded, the doors shut in my face. That crush ended... along with my face. 

  • What's your mantra?

    Always have your glass half full and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

Pam started her career within the food industry as a quality control technician, working for global names such as Quest International, Smiths Crisps and Milk Marketing Board. 

Pam ‘reinvented’ herself in 1994, undertaking the Association of Accounting Technicians Course and working voluntarily to gain experience, but was soon offered work within the automotive industry. During the following decade, she worked across all departments, building an excellent holistic understanding of systems and ways of working. 

Pam’s first major project was working across Europe on XML orders – a new technology for B2B. After a management role transfer to Bradford, she developed training skills and database design, working with employees, suppliers and customers on ways of working that were efficient and time-reducing.

During 2000 and 2010, Pam underpinned her work experience by achieving two degrees in business systems and improvement. Working within the higher education sector, she has enjoyed working on many projects across the Northwest with many SMEs, NHS and Social Housing organisations, until she settled for a challenging role within the nuclear industry.

Pam has worked with Laughology for many years and is currently their learning systems and business support guru.

Nick Harding, Laughology's very own award-winning journalist and author, and Laughologist Dave Keeling, have a good old natter.

Click here to read all about it!


What is your background?

I trained for three years as a classical actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, the same drama school that Benedict Cumberbatch attended. After I left, I realised very quickly that I wasn’t going to be acting full-time and even when I did get work it wasn’t very well paid. So, in my early twenties, I started to plan what else I could do. I didn’t want to work in a bar or wait tables like most jobbing actors. A friend asked me to do some work in schools for him. It wasn’t an area that I had thought about but in a very short space of time I learned loads and started to realise that with my performance skills and knowledge, I could put across information in an interesting way.

Did you have an interest in psychology before you started working with Laughology?

As an actor, I had always been fascinated by behaviour and relationships because that’s what acting is. I had a degree of intuitive emotional intelligence. I would watch people and study how they behaved. That developed into an interest in psychology. I wanted to learn more about people and their foibles and behaviours.

How did you get involved with Laughology?

I was presenting at a conference. I was doing the morning and Laughology CEO, Stephanie Davies, was doing the afternoon. She saw what I was doing and liked it. We talked and I became involved from there.

What makes Laughology different?

The real test for me is authenticity. Very few people who go out and talk to audiences practice what they preach. A lot say stuff, but they don’t do it.
The Laughology team have a broad range of learning and development skills to back up their specialisms, what would you say your strengths are?
I am great at being a catalyst in a room. I’m good at being deployed to create a buzz and an atmosphere. I can shift a room. Being a facilitator allows me to engage with people and be playful.

How are your skills best used?

I’d say that 60 to 70 percent of the time, you turn up to an event and people have had a long day of very dull keynotes. That’s the challenge I enjoy. You never know what you are going to get and it is my job to make sure those people leave that room feeling better than they did when they went in. The trick is to create an environment where people feel happy, and then hit them with some stuff that they’ve not thought about before. And that’s what Laughology does perfectly.

At Laughology, we have spent the last ten years campaigning for happiness and resilience in schools and workplaces to be recognised as an important development tool - do you think views are changing?

People are living longer and working longer. They no longer retire at 65 and businesses have started to realise that they have to keep people happy and healthier for longer so they can continue to be productive. There is also much more awareness of mental health issues. In education, primary schools have always been on board, and now Secondary Schools are getting there too. They are realising that although kids are leaving school qualified, they are not necessarily employable because they are missing the other stuff, which is what we talk about at Laughology; empathy, relationships, confidence, self-awareness and the ability to express thoughts and ideas. With all that’s happening in the world, people are having to get good at coping with change. And that feeds into everything we do in Laughology.

If you were Queen for a day, what would you do to make the world happier?

Simple. I’d ban homework. Nobody likes it. And I’d only employ people in schools who genuinely enjoy and like the company of young people.

big chat about mental health logo


Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

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