Rachel is also a Black, Disabled, Neurodivergent and Queer woman. As such, she is dedicated to using her voice and art to collaborate with under-represented people and their stories. She believes fiercely in her heart that positive change and revolution can be created through the arts so her work centres community in-reach and outreach, participation work and arts-based social activism.
Rachel experiences co-morbid conditions that are disabling and painful. These include: Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Irlen Syndrome.
Rachel is currently working towards her most ambitious project to date: a national Multidisciplinary Artivism project aiming to confront & illuminate the longstanding mental health crisis for Black people in the UK using storytelling as a protest tool. It will be drawing on Rachel’s lived experience of police brutality, the mental health system and psychiatric wards.
Importantly, she is doing this at the same time as battling state systems to get the health & social care and support she needs to survive & the justice and accountability that she deserves to heal. This is draining and she rarely gets to spend money to care for herself.
This results in extensive physical, mental and learning access needs that can prevent Rachel from working and cause great suffering.
Emboldened by Rachel's recent onslaught of love and recognition in the last month through the Stage Debut award for Best Performer in a Play 2020 and the inaugural Disability Champion award at the Black British Theatre Awards - Rachel wants to reach out to her communities to support her independence, safety and protection while she fights to make the world better.
Some things we desperately needs to
spend the money on:
- Rachel needs support workers to assist with basic daily needs that she can’t carry out on her own.
- Rachel is in need of an electric wheelchair because she has been immobilized by various degrees of physical/ mental trauma and neglect (many state enacted).
- Rachel doesn’t have a lot of money and sometimes when she has rare work opportunities, she faces barriers to access them because her disability traps her and she is inhibited from getting around. Therefore she is also in need of mobility related expenses.
- Rachel also needs pain management support for her Fibromyalgia (chronic pain syndrome)
- Rachel needs regular counselling and therapy for her Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and t o safeguard her needs while undertaking intense justice work (CPTSD).
- Rachel also needs to enjoy life like everybody does, and so part of the money will go towards her self care needs (Essential in battling the effects of trauma, depression and anxiety)
If you believe in Rachel, would like to support what she wants to achieve and can afford to help remove the burden of systemic barriers then we loving invite you to donate and share this post far and wide. There is abundance out there!
You can see more about Rachel’s work : www.rachelshapes.com
Rachel is a creative innovator and leader looking for support. Please support her.