30 trained volunteers from Black and ethnic minorities got Tottenham talking about mental health by sharing their experience of mental health over tasty food. Volunteers run ‘eat and talk’ sessions at community festivals, shopping centres, parks and schools as well as a popular community kitchen in South Tottenham. Over 1200 members of the public were engaged by the volunteers in one to one conversations. The conversations led to improvements in attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
“A great experience and has exceeded my expectations… It’s been a great team effort, everyone helped each other out and gained confidence each week. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself….”
I got involved with Tottenham talking because I had a deep conversation with myself to follow my purpose and as I was putting my words into action I received an email about this project, I saw it as a sign.
My role was to prepare fresh, healthy delicious products from scratch (which I call brain food as it releases natural energy and makes you feel good) to serve to the community and engage in a conversation about mental health.
Tottenham talking has made a difference as it’s not just opening my eyes but others of the community too. When we go to events just speaking to people and giving them a snippet of our lives, of how having someone suffering from mental health or experiencing it ourselves has changed us and shaped our lives. Seeing their expressions and hearing their stories and feedback makes my soul sing, I go to bed with a smile on my face.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself on this project, things I thought I would never do I’m doing, I’ve meet so many great characters which I love as we form such a good team. I’ve gained much more confidence and my vision has become so clear. I’ve realised EVERYONE is fighting their own battle and I believe we all suffer from mental health, some worse than others but it’s good to talk especially where good food is involved. Eat drink and live good, I live by this!
Before I started this project I was writing, recently my mate and I have formed a production company where we creatively help one another in breaking down stigmas through, adverts, films, plays and documentaries. We have recently written a play (true story) about a young lady piecing back her life together, due to her abused, neglected and troubled past which lead to her suffering from a mental illness. I aim to showcase a snippet of this for white Ribbon Day; this is the next project I am working on.