Welcome to my website! My name is Ali and I’m an educator, blogger and freelance writer, with a passion for understanding what we mean by wellbeing, and how we can achieve greater harmony and wellness. After ten years researching and lecturing in Higher Education, I recently left academia to pursue opportunities outside the ivory tower. Here, I will be documenting my somewhat ‘unusual’ journey through Higher Education and exploring some of the reasons why I left. My research background is in the history of mental health and wellbeing, and my aim is to connect the themes of ‘education’ and ‘wellbeing’ to offer critical commentary about current approaches to both. I also offer new insights to foster improved health and wellbeing at work and in our daily lives.

I returned to university as a mature student at 29. My route to academia would be considered ‘non-traditional’, since prior to university, I worked as a hairdresser for ten years. While fellow university students went out socialising, I returned home each evening to two young boys, four young step-children, and a gargantuan pile of dirty football kit. To supplement income, I drove the ‘butcher’s van’, delivered pies and served hog-roasts for my husband’s business. Nine years (and many domestic crises) later, by some miracle, I finally received my PhD in the history of medicine, and embarked upon an academic career. I believe my unconventional journey has kept me grounded and given me a unique perspective on Higher Education. I look forward to sharing some of my insights - alongside some of the laughter and a few of the tears.

As an educator, my extensive research into the history of mental health and illness has led me to conclude that, as a society, ‘wellbeing’ seems to be in short supply. How did we get here? What can we do? How can we cultivate kindness and connect with each other more effectively? I have learned much from my research and teaching, but far more from ‘listening’ and ‘understanding’ in various roles over the last ten years. I look forward to opening interesting conversations about the ways in which we might foster greater wellbeing and positive mental health.

Here you will find details of my past work and the ideas and services I’m developing for the future. You will also find my blog - imbued with a sense of humour, which has been my ‘medicine’ through recent years. Please feel free to contact me, and enjo

I do not measure a person’s intellect, based on how much a person knows. How much you know has no bearing on how much you are an intellectual.
— Ibram Kendi 2016

MY objectives are to:

  • Promote a more holistic understanding of what we mean by ‘education’

  • Empower communities to generate health and wellbeing instead of sickness and therapy

  • Reduce isolation by promoting the values of ‘community’: goodwill, understanding and empathy

  • Promote the value of non-clinical approaches to mental health and wellbeing.