Peta volunteers on the Tottenham Talking project. Tottenham Talking is a Time to Change grant-funded project that trains volunteers from Black and Minority Ethnic communities to get 'Tottenham Talking' about mental health by sharing their experience of mental health problems over tasty food. Volunteers run 'eat and talk' sessions at community festivals, shopping centres, parks and schools as well as a popular community kitchen.
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 on the project was to prepare fresh, healthy delicious food 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.
Seeing people's expressions and hearing their feedback makes my soul sing
Tottenham Talking has made a difference as it has not just opened my eyes but others in the community too. When we go to events we speak to people and explain how experiencing mental health problems has changed us and shaped our lives. Seeing people's expressions and hearing their stories and feedback makes my soul sing, I go to bed with a smile on my face.
I've gained so much more confidence
I've learnt a lot about myself being on this project; things I thought I would never do I'm doing. I've met so many great characters who I love as we form such a good team. I've gained so much more confidence and my vision has become so clear.
It's good to talk
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 great food is involved. Eat, drink and live well, I live by this!
Before I started this project I was writing. Recently my mate and I formed a production company where we creatively help one another to break down stigma through adverts, films, plays and documentaries. We have recently written a play (based on a true story) about a young lady piecing back her life together after a troubled past, which led her to suffer from a mental health problem. I aim to showcase a snippet of this for White Ribbon Day; this is the next project I am working on.