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Biography

Lorna developed her occupational therapy practice alongside marginalised and displaced people, and victims/survivors of sexual violence. Lorna worked for eighteen years in the NHS: in inpatient psychiatric wards, a low secure unit, rehabilitation services, ‘Early Intervention in Psychosis’ teams in Bradford and Keighley, and in a primary care ‘Homeless and New Arrivals Health Team.’ In these contexts, Lorna learnt about the impacts of racism, poverty, trauma, hostile environment policies, immigration detention, and illicit and psychiatric drugs, on health and health inequities. Since 2003, Lorna has been active in collectives, campaigns and networks working to challenge the root causes of health inequalities and create alternatives.  

From 2016-2021 Lorna worked in the voluntary sector, leading a sexual violence prevention project in Bradford secondary schools, and working with community groups to co-produce sexual violence prevention workshop programs and resources in multiple languages, including BSL.

Research

Lorna has facilitated two Participatory Action Research processes, planned and co-designed with service-users and survivors as co-researchers. The first with twelve young people, using games, interviews, film making, animation and grounded theory to explore ‘B.A.M.E’ service-users' experiences of mental health services in Bradford (2010/11). The second research collective was with nine survivors of sexual violence in West Yorkshire, exploring what survivors need to be leaders for change (2020/21). Lorna's research interests are:  
  • Critical Participatory Action Research  
  • How political and economic systems, and social norms, impact on health, occupational identity, occupational opportunities and occupational therapy practice 
  • Health and education inequalities 

Teaching

Teaching interests

Lorna studied the work of educators Paulo Freire and bell hooks during her MA at the Department of Peace Studies (2005) and later trained with Augusto Boal in Theatre of the Oppressed. Lorna has a BSc (hons) in herbal medicine, has participated in courses and conferences in India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine and Sierra Leone, and was a storyteller at Bradford City Library for several years with the Commonweal Children’s Peace Library.   

Lorna has been guest lecturing at the University of Bradford since 2007 with occupational therapy, social work and AMHP students, mostly co-designed and delivered with service-users and interpreters. Lorna joined the Faculty of Health in October 2021 and teaches on the Occupational Therapy BSc and Occupational Science MSc. Lorna's particular teaching interests are:   
  • skills for analysis and intervention around the wider (structural and social) determinants of health  
  • trauma-informed practice 
  • occupational science  
  • groupwork and facilitation  
  • critical reflexivity 
  • co-production
  • working with interpreters