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What inspired you to become involved in DIVERSE?

Akshay, associate

I think the more progress we make

- and much has been made - the

more we see how much is still to

be done. Breaking down prejudice

- socio-economic as well as racial -

on all sides can be a subtle process,

especially when people aren't always

aware that the barriers are even

there. But the benefits are enormous.

We're working in three ways: more

broadly to engage the City; to engage

internally; and to change attitudes by

celebrating diversity. I'm particularly

keen on using events to raise the

profile of the conversation.

We had talks from Sandra Kerr OBE,

and Matthew Ryder QC. We ran a

writing competition around food and

particular recipes that held special

memories for people. A number

were shortlisted and then our staff

restaurant prepared the dishes,

with the stories on display. That was

immensely popular. Something

like this involves everybody, and

opens a dialogue even with those

who perhaps might not consider

themselves traditionally as having a

place in the DIVERSE Network.

But it is for everyone.

Why do we need a mental health and wellbeing

network like Thrive?

Kate, associate

Law in the City is full of high

achievers and deep thinkers working

under pressure, a combination which

can in some circumstances increase

the potential for mental ill-health.

It's not restricted to the profession:

many have loved ones or friends who

have been affected, and in reality

everyone can benefit from positive

practices which encourage mental

wellbeing. Thankfully, there has been

a real shift in the last few years in how

the legal profession recognises and

addresses these issues.

Thrive was inaugurated in 2018 with

a panel discussion aimed at raising

awareness and reducing stigma.

The event had a record number

of attendees and was followed by

many messages of support and

others volunteering to tell their own

personal stories on our intranet site.

Thrive offers a wide range of activities,

such as talks from mental health

professionals, yoga and art workshops.

Now, in our second year, the network

is focusing on self-care. We have just

held several events for Mental Health

Awareness Week and we have some

more exciting things planned.

23

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