Hip Hop Heals Founder, Tutor, Counsellor
I lost my older sister, Promila, in a car accident in 2000. After, I suffered a delayed traumatised grief reaction. I was an English Literature graduate and keen writer but experienced a creative block that lasted ten years. During this time, I trained as a secondary English teacher, and enjoyed a fruitful career in museum and gallery education.
When my father died in 2010, I was in recovery from a delayed traumatised grief reaction and a breakdown. This is when I discovered therapeutic writing. My writer’s block came undone. I already had an MA in Literature and decided to do an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes to share what I’d learnt about self-healing through creativity. I set up Hip Hop HEALS, a mental health project that tackles mental health inequalities in disadvantaged groups, particularly BAME groups, young people and men.
We deliver poetry therapy-style workshops in schools, probation centres, mental health units and homeless hostels. I am also now Director of Story with Lapidus International and Communications Director for its academic research journal, LIRIC, as well as Lived Experience Champion for LENS Network (Lived Experience Network).
Outside of work, I run Dubgasm: a social action fundraiser for Brum's foodbank and homeless communities. I still love teaching and tutor Looked After Children in my spare time. Recently, I was selected for Lloyd's Bank's School for Social Entrepreneurs to develop Hip Hop HEALS into a social enterprise business with a grant of £1000. Through this, I’ve been developing mental health resources using Hip Hop’s central tenet: ‘Knowledge of Self’. My goal is to spread knowledge and research about the therapeutic power of Hip Hop culture. My thesis on this topic applied narrative and poetic inquiry to interpret MC interviews (available on request: email@example.com)