Students at Edge Hill University have unveiled plans for a new creative arts project to help Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people to heal from racial trauma. 

Claire Beerjeraz, Olivia Izzo and Bethany Raffles are rallying support to launch their concept, Project Heard: Creative Healing

The proposed programme includes a series of creative workshops for members of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community across Liverpool and Ormskirk. 

The three students all study MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling – Contemporary Creative Approaches at Edge Hill. 

Bethany Raffles, said: “We’ve come together to form this project and, hopefully, to help people and encourage change. 

“We want to create a safe space where people feel they are heard and seen, and to express themselves and their experiences.” 

Olivia added: “We want to make a difference. Project Heard will provide a space for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people to feel represented.” 

Claire Beerjeraz, who is on the University’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic student advisory panel, said: “We know that the creative arts and creative mediums provide a powerful approach to helping people explore their identity, to encourage empowerment, and as a tool for healing.” 

She added: “My research focuses on how we can use the arts to heal racial trauma. The learnings from my research, along with our own experiences and the resources Edge Hill has given us, have given us the confidence to pursue this idea and turn it into reality.” 

As part of Edge Hill’s Black History Month programme, Claire will be involved in Diverse Voices: Minority Ethnic Alumni Panel, a roundtable discussion about the lived experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students. 

The students are hoping to secure funding for the project through the Student Opportunity Fund. 

Claire added: “Looking ahead, we want to continue to build on the project and expand its reach to other groups. Our dream would be to launch the project on an international scale, starting in areas such as Chicago, which has been central to the United States’ Black Lives Matter movement. We feel that a project such as this one could have a very positive impact on people’s lives.” 

The Student Opportunity Fund contributes financial support to help students take part in activities that enhance employability, build confidence and develop transferable skills. 

Undergraduate, taught postgraduate, PGCE or MRes students at Edge Hill can apply for up to £2,000 to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich their student experience and enable them to stand out in a competitive environment. 

Edge Hill offers a range of Counselling and Psychotherapy courses, including BA (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy and BSc (Hons) Critical Approaches to Counselling & Psychotherapy. 

We also offer an MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling – Contemporary Creative Approaches programme, which is suitable for those with or without a background in counselling.