Michael came on board as an AWARE Ambassador in March 2016. Michael is a world championship boxer from Belfast. Michael's achievements include an Olympic bronze medal at London 2012 and a World Championships gold medal at Doha 2015. Michael is keen to work closely with AWARE in a bid to encourage more young people to come forward to speak about mental health and seek help if they are suffering. We are delighted to have Michael as an AWARE Ambassador.
Paulo Ross joined AWARE as an ambassador in September 2016. Paulo is currently breakfast show host on Cool FM and has his own show on Saturdays at 2pm. Paulo has a very good understanding of depression and the impact it can have on a person and their family. Paulo would like to do more to help raise awareness of depression and mental illness in order to encourage more people suffering to talk about how they are feeling and to seek help.
Chris came on board as an AWARE Ambassador in May 2016. Chris is a former Ireland’s strongest man junior champion. Chris, who is 27 and is originally from Larne, suffered with depression for years before seeking help. It was exercise and fitness that changed his life. Chris has just opened up his very own gym in Larne called Inspire. Chris hopes that by sharing his story he can help other young people currently suffering from depression or mental illness to get help immediately.
Kaz Hawkins joined AWARE as an ambassador in November 2016. Kaz is a blues and soul singer from Northern Ireland and has released albums all over the world. Kaz has become the first female ambassador of AWARE. Kaz said, “It isn’t easy for me to speak about my life and what has happened to me in the past, but if I can help one person, if I can save just one life, then it will be worth it,” Kaz is keen to use her music and profile to help the charity and hopefully help people that aren't well. We are very excited to have Kaz on-board as an AWARE Ambassador.
Lynda has recently joined AWARE as an ambassador in December 2016 but has been a longstanding supporter of AWARE for many years as a Board of Trustee since 2005. Lynda had depression during her first pregnancy and said she felt totally worthless. Lynda opened up to the public in 2008 about her battle with depression in the hope that having a well known TV personality talk about mental health could help others in the same situation. Lynda said, “The reason I tell my story is because there are people in that position now. People who think they are never going to get better. People who are in that black tunnel and can’t see any way out of it."
Vinny joined AWARE as an ambassador in March 2013. Vinny works for the BBC and hosts his own radio show, The Vinny Hurrell Show on a Monday evening on BBC Radio Ulster. Vinny has been an active supporter of AWARE for many years and has become an ambassador in the hope that he can help de-stigmatise the illness of depression and ensure that more people suffering are able to open up in order to get the help they need.