An online panel discussion with Bradford Stories

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Join us as we invite inspiring members of the local community to discuss male mental health and what it means to be a man in Bradford and the UK today.

We will also be celebrating Bradford culture with poetry and music from our talented speakers.

This event is part of our Bradford Stories Festival – a celebration of the amazing people, places and stories at the heart of Bradford’s communities.


When: 6pm - 8pm, Friday 10 July

Where: Online by Zoom


Join us as we discuss:

  • What does it mean to be a man?
  • The masculine identity, toxic masculinity and socially constructed norms
  • Mental health, vulnerability and emotions
  • Men and body image
  • Breaking through barriers and challenging norms – how are things changing?
  • Creating safe spaces for men to speak about mental health

Our panel includes:

Discussion Chair: Cllr Joseph Kean

Councillor with Baildon Town Council and works with the charity Change Grow Live supporting local people with multiple and complex needs including mental and physical health, homelessness, criminal justice and substance misuse issues.

Abdullah Adekola – Writer and poet

Adekola is a writer, performer, poetry promoter, and all-around creative based in Leeds UK. He writes, performs and teaches poetry. He has had an immigrant experience and is a Black-British, working class artist. He has several years of experience in adult social care and a diploma in social work. He believes people need hope and they need stories and that you should tell your story or risk being ignored or misrepresented.

Abdullah Adekola online and on Instagram

Akeel Hussain – Careers Adviser and an Independent Member with the Parole Board

Akeel has worked within the Education Sector in Bradford for the past 15 years, primarily as a careers specialist but also working with vulnerable young people on specialist projects, including those in care, young offenders and young people experiencing mental health issues.

Phil Pearce - Director of ‘Life Experience’ and campaigner

Phil is director of ‘Life Experience’ which he started in 2015 after he was released from his second prison sentence. He now brings in people with lived experiences to educate young people on choices and consequences. Using a mixture of real life poetry videos and creative expression saw Life Experience win the Child Friendly Leeds Award in 2019.

Life Experience online and on Facebook

Simon Pickles - A spoken word poet and campaigner

Si runs a monthly sober spoken word night at Keighley Creative Space, weekly sober social evenings at Riri's Coffee House, he set up his own spoken word night, Spoken Worth, in August 2019, and his latest spoken word project, REALITY, is aimed at engaging marginalised youths in Keighley.

Si has found poetry to be a powerful tool to overcoming his own personal demons with drugs, drink and mental health, and uses his poetry to challenge people’s views of addicts and addiction.

Faisal Salah – Artist and performer

Faisal Salah is a multi-talented, internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter-beatboxer. He has toured all over the world working not only as a singer but as a facilitator for art therapy. From Iceland to orphanages in Malaysia he has used the creative arts as a vehicle to connect and inspire all.


Please note: we reserve the right to remove any persons from this event exhibiting offensive behaviour or using offensive language.