Their Words

  • Black and Asian men need to be given better opportunities to have their voices heard to inform service delivery that is co-designed and co-produced, accounting for what they feel is best for them. Mental health service providers need to improve their monitoring processes and, in particular, put resources in place to set targets and action plans to tackle disproportionate outcomes. Through the Remembering What’s Forgotten project we need to ensure such matters continue to be spotlighted and action taken to address some of the entrenched inequalities and discrimination that still exist.

    Arfan Hanif
  • Leeds GP Confederation can influence the rest of general practice to recognise and work with others on schemes to reduce the over-representation of racialised communities on in-patient wards. As part of the senior leadership in the city, it’s my responsibility to ensure the work of Synergi-Leeds is promoted and accelerated, not just within individual organisations, but as a collective within the Leeds Health & Care Partnership.

    Jim Barwick
    Leeds GP Confederation
  • The Synergi-Leeds network believes that knowledge which resides in the community isn’t often privileged in regional and national initiatives, leading the learning to be lost and sometimes repackaged by mainstream services as ‘new knowledge’. Remembering What’s Forgotten will put the spotlight on the histories, people, communities and organisations instrumental in championing mental health equity in Leeds.

    Sharon Prince
    Deputy Director Psychological Professions
    Leeds & York NHS Partnership Foundation Trust
  • We need to collaborate to change behaviour, motivate action, redesign systems and monitor progress toward equity and justice in mental health. There is an opportunity being presented by the mental health and wider system transformation to shift power to communities. We need to build on our learning from the pandemic about how frontline organisations, such as Black Health Initiative, Chapeltown Youth Development Centre and The Geraldine Connor Foundation work differently.

    Pip Goff
    Volition Director
    Forum Central
  • Remembering What’s Forgotten is a helpful title. I develop history walks, including for the David Oluwale Memorial Association, and having the Yinka Shonibare Hibiscus Rising sculpture honouring David, is all about remembering. We have no wish to retraumatise ourselves by remembering, but we have to remember to not repeat mistakes and learn from challenges. We have to remember how to stay healthy, perhaps to recall those times when we once knew, and build on it.

    Joe Williams
    Founder / Director
    Heritage Corner
  • Through the award-winning Synergi-Leeds, we are directly addressing the barriers, prejudice and stigma which contribute to the deeply concerning situation where people from our diverse communities are overrepresented in mental health services or detained under the Mental Health Act. Yet, we know this is part of a larger picture, where the wider determinants of health, such as housing, education and employment, also factor in. By working with Professor Marmot and his team as a Marmot City, we can support the whole council in taking a holistic approach to reducing inequalities.

    Cllr Salma Arif - Cabinet Member
    Adult Social Care, Public Health & Active Lifestyles
    Leeds City Council
  • Racial injustice, especially when you look at the overrepresentation of black people detained under the Mental Health Act, isn’t new. We also know that for the diverse communities we serve it can often feel like ‘here we go again’ when statutory agencies announce another ‘initiative’ to tackle racial injustice. Our communities have walked the talk so many times and it is for this reason Remembering What’s Forgotten has a crucial role to play.”

    Sara Munro
    Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • It is essential to listen to and amplify the voices of lived experience, understand in more depth what contributes to differences in mental health outcomes but also recognise the assets already present in our communities through individuals, community groups and grassroots organisations. Remembering What’s Forgotten will serve as a catalyst for further change and advocacy efforts aimed at addressing ethnic inequalities in mental health.

    Victoria Eaton
    Director of Public Health
    Leeds City Council
  • It’s time to centre the undervalued legacy of community organisations, carers and lived experience activists. Oral history and creative outlets have long served as tools of resilience amid generational trauma, institutional gaslighting, racism and the absence of culturally relevant and co-produced mental health services. Remembering What’s Forgotten is a step in the right direction as one option for change and accountability

    Co-Founder and Project Manager
    Remembering What's Forgotten
  • Black and brown people are still dealing with the trauma of our ancestors, our lineage and our heritage, which affect our mental health today.The perpetuation of stereotypes of black and brown people, as criminals, unintelligent and unsuccessful is affecting our mental health and how we think of ourselves. It’s our duty to leave a legacy, which means being involved in projects like Remembering What’s Forgotten where we can galvanise and use our knowledge for our community to create information that is accessible and necessary, and which will last forever.

    Sanchez Payne
    Former professional footballer and BBC presenter / Life coach

  • Remembering What’s Forgotten is a unique and creative way to participate in a programme that supports lived experience poets and curators, helping them express themselves and capture the world around them through artistry. Leeds has a long and complex history of racial tension, which is often overlooked or disregarded. The city’s cultural heritage is deeply rooted, dating back to Roman times and spanning through both World War I and II. The Windrush generation represent an excellent example of resilience and contribution so it’s crucial that the black community is acknowledged and celebrated, and that young people are inspired to preserve their legacy by nurturing creative thinking and cultivating a sense of belonging for mental wellbeing.

    Poet, Theatremaker and Artistic Director
    Leeds Young Authors

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HSJ Awards 2023