A Friday night out at Mind Dance for Forward Leeds

Forward Leeds were part of a discussion on mental health, music and drugs at a popular Leeds club night.

Mind Dance was a panel discussion at Sheaf Street organised by Voices who are more used to organising club nights in Manchester, London and Leeds as Ossia.

The panel featured Bill Owen of Forward Leeds, Leeds University Union Welfare Officer Amy Wells, Chris Madden of MAP-Charity and DJs Larry McCarthy aka Bruce and Katia Yoko Mullova aka Katiusha.

Co-organiser of the event Toby Oxnam of Voices said: “Mental health has always been something we care deeply about. I’ve had a lot of friends and family who have had mental health issues in the past.

“We decided that it was time to start figuring out how to affect policy on a grass roots basis as opposed to waiting for anyone to do anything for us.

“All of our expertise came from events and we are trying to create a correlation between what we’re doing, social causes and supporting good enterprises which is why we have invited down the charities that we have done.

panel discussion

“To be able to build a forum where we can talk about it, in an environment where people are safe to go over things, makes a lot of difference”.

Bill Owen of Forward Leeds, said: “Mind Dance is a really innovative idea and it was great to be part of the panel. From a Forward Leeds perspective to be invited into a club to take part in a discussion group was a really good opportunity to get some of our knowledge over.

“I think the links with mental wellbeing, drink, drugs and the night-time economy meant we could have a valuable input and hopefully help people think about how drinking and drug use can impact upon mental health.”

Voices UK describes itself as a DIY platform that has been created with the intention of helping address a myriad of social issues, from mental health to climate change, through fundraising, workshops, talks, panels and events.

The event at Sheaf Street raised £250 which will go towards the Forward Leeds Family Plus provision.