World Autism Awareness Week runs from 29 March – 4 April and with that in mind we have chosen Harry Wells as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Harry is a professional rugby player with the Leicester Tigers, a Tigers academy graduate, having gained experience at Bedford and Nottingham, he is now a firm fixture in the first team squad.
He has twin sons Oscar and Theodore and Oscar was diagnosed with autism in 2018. Harry became an Ambassador for the National Autistic Society in 2020 and works to raise awareness through supporting campaigns and taking part in different challenges.
Youth Mental Health Day is on 7 September and with that in mind we have chosen Bella Ramsey as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month. Bella is an actress. She made her professional acting debut as the young noblewoman Lyanna Mormont in the series Game of Thrones; she is also known for playing the leading role of Mildred Hubble in the 2017 CBBC television series The Worst Witch and she is currently the voice of Hilda in the Netflix series Hilda.
Bella is an Ambassador for the Young Minds Charity, a charity whose aim it is to make sure young people are given the best possible mental health support and the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties. She became an Ambassador because she is passionate about talking about mental health and destroying the stigma surrounding it and she wants to use the platform she has been given to have to help.
24 July is Samaritans Awareness Day and this year it is known as The Big Listen, with this in mind we have chosen someone who has openly discussed their mental health situation, the actor and tv personality Denise Welch as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Denise is an actress and tv personality. She has featured in many well know tv shows including, Soldier Soldier, Waterloo Road, Coronation Street, Eastenders, Benidorm and Dun Breedin to name just a few. She has appeared in many other tv shows and is a regular panellist on Loose Women.
Her mental health issues began following the birth of her first child. She refers to the clinical depression she suffers with as ‘The Unwelcome Visitor’ and although she has written before about her struggles her latest book is called ‘The Unwelcome Visitor – Depression and How I survive it’.
This type of book was something she would have found very useful over the last 30 years, within the book Denise reveals her ongoing journey from breakdowns to breakthroughs and through self-destruction to self-acceptance. It lets people know that ‘you’re not alone and you can live a happy and successful life alongside your illness’.
To find out more about Samaritans Awareness day see here
Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 18-24 May 2020 hosted by the Mental Health Foundation with the theme of ‘kindness’. With this in mind we have chosen George Ezra as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Georgeis a singer, songwriter and musician. He first started supporting the mental health charity Mind after seeing friends and family affected by mental health problems. He then began experiencing anxiety himself after returning home from an intensive touring schedule and started encouraging his fans to donate to us throughout his UK tour in 2017. He has recently also opened up about his diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) on his podcast ‘Phone a Friend with George Ezra and Ollie MN’.
He has supported various initiatives including Time to Talk Day, Mind’s ground breaking partnership with the EFL and the Mind Media Awards.
George has held a number of fundraising shows for Mind at London’s Union Chapel and the Royal Albert Hall, raising over £170,000 to help fund vital services.
George was announced as an Ambassador for Mind in July 2019 in recognition of his outstanding dedication.
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week see here
You can join a Touch Rugby (non-physical) session where former England Rugby International Matt will provide skills and tips. Matt is the Health and Wellbeing Ambassador for Sodexo, our university partner.
There is a strong link between regular moderate physical activity and better mental health, and as part of our University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day we are encouraging everyone – students and staff – to take better care of their wellbeing.
On Wednesday 6 MarchMatt Dawson MBE will visit our Avery Hill campus, where all students and staff are invited to have a go at Touch Rugby – it’s non-physical – at a session where Matt will provide skills and tips.
You only need a pair of trainers to take part!
To take part in the session, please meet at the David Fussey Sports Hall at 1.45pm, the session will run until 2.30pm.
Matt will give skills and tips during the game as well as spending time with our Masters Strength and Conditioning students and meeting staff who are completing our new Mental Health First Aid training.
Matt retired from his highly successful English Rugby Union career in 2006. During his International career he toured with the British and Irish Lions and was part of England’s winning 2003 Rugby World Cup team.
In 2004, Matt joined the long-running BBC One quiz show “A Question of Sport” as a regular team captain. He appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 and was also the first Celebrity MasterChef Champion in the same year. Matt is an honorary President of the rugby charity Wooden Spoon. Since 2010 he has worked with university partner Sodexo as their Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing.
You can join a Touch Rugby (non-physical) session where former England Rugby International Matt will provide skills and tips. Matt is the Health and Wellbeing Ambassador for Sodexo, our university partner. More