Women of Sheffield charity award winner reacts to win and talks about ambitious plans for future

A charity champion has described how shocked she was at winning a Women of Sheffield award – but says it has spurred her on to keep going despite her increasing workload.

By Lisa Wong
Friday, 19th March 2021, 7:58 am

Ursula Myrie is a founder of Adira - a survivor-led mental health and well-being service which supports the black community.

She won this year’s Barbara Wragg Award for Charity for her work which includes initiatives such as the Adira Food Pharmacy and the Black Hair Care Project.

Ursula has described the past year as ‘a good year’, as Adira has managed to secure more funding to undertake more projects, with the award win helping to raise Adira’s profile further.

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Ursula Myrie, winner of the Barbara Wragg Award for Charity.

She said: “I was so surprised and genuinely humbled to get the email to say that I had won an award.”

She told how she has many projects in the pipeline and although this means an increased workload, she is aware of the increased need.

One such project is a Hair Summer School, where people from all backgrounds can learn how to properly care for black hair.

The connection between hair care and mental health in the black community was the main reason why Ursula began the Black Hair Care Project, which is something she is hoping will launch in other cities in the future.

Another project Ursula is keen on continuing with, is providing Christmas hampers.

Last year, Adira, with the help of 70 volunteers, worked in conjunction with other organisations including Morrisons, to deliver 500 hampers for families in need at Christmas.

Ursula said: “It was such a success. The feedback has been incredible.”

She told how recipients of the hampers were surprised at the quality of the products.

Ursula added: “People expected food bank stuff. There was food in there that I would want to eat at Christmas.”

Other commitments on Ursula’s list include various mental health conferences and further Black Mental Health Live events.

The next Black Mental Health Live event is due to take place in May, and will focus on black male trauma.

Ursula said: “Female trauma we don’t touch on, but male trauma, we don’t touch on at all. It’s the idea of the ‘strong black man’”.

To find out more about Adira, visit here.

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