Part 2 • Chicks Chat with ….
Part 1 here Trishna Bharadia, Multiple Sclerosis Campaigner, Public Speaker and Writer. She is also the Ambassador for MS Society UK and Sue Ryder. Trishna appeared in BBC1’s “The People’s Strictly” for Comic Relief 2015. We at Those London Chicks are excited to have a catch up chat with Trishna to help dispel some of the myths surrounding people with MS and help explain what living with MS is really like. Three out of four people diagnosed with MS are women!! I discovered that fact about MS after hearing a little of Trishna’s journey in an inspirational speech she gave at a launch for an incredible Album. It’s entitled Ms Song Cycle, in aid of the MS Society.
You do an incredible amount as an ambassador for two charities, as well a job as a translator. What do you like to do in your ‘down’ time?
Down time? What’s that?! Lol! Sport has been my life ever since I was young. I played hockey competitively since the age of 12 until about two years ago when physically it was starting to become too much for me. I’ve also done Zumba now for about five years, which I love just as much, in a different way! I also love the theatre, particularly musicals and dance shows, reading (when I get the time!) and growing my own vegetables. I think there’s something very good for the soul being out in the garden and watching things grow. I’m a bit useless with flowers (I tend to kill them!) but I’m a pretty good vegetable grower!
You were a finalist on The People’s Strictly. Trishna I have to say, you certainly can throw some shapes! What was that experience like?
It was the most amazing, enjoyable, rewarding and challenging experience of my life! It challenged me in ways I never thought possible – physically, mentally and emotionally – and it taught me a huge amount about myself. As a kid I was always extremely shy. I would never dance at parties because I’d be too self-conscious! To go from that to dancing for millions of viewers is quite a step forward! It was also amazing to have a glimpse into a completely different world. With Strictly you really are in a big glittery bubble for the duration! The entire production crew, all the professional dancers and everyone involved in the show were so good to us and really worked hard to make it an unforgettable experience. I’ve also made some lifelong friends as a result and all of us who took part regularly support each others’ charity events and chat over whatsapp almost every day!
“…every day there are 14 people diagnosed with MS in the UK.”
How did you become Ambassador for MS Society UK?
I’d already done a huge amount for the MS Society before I became an Ambassador. In fact, in 2013 I was named the MS Society’s Volunteer of the Year during their annual MS Awards ceremony. About a year ago, the Society decided it was the right time to create an Ambassadors programme, which would involve people who volunteer at the Society and are able to raise funds, galvanise public support for its campaigns and use their influence to spread the word about MS in the media so that it reaches a wider audience. I was so honoured when I got the call asking if I’d like to be one of them. Strictly has helped me to gain a following from many people who would never have otherwise had any reason to find out more about MS. The Society’s work is so important when it comes to supporting those affected by MS and I’m happy that I can play a part in that.
Tell us about the brilliant Album Ms Song Cycle?
This album is the most innovative awareness-raising project I’ve come across during my time with the MS Society. Rory Sherman, a lyricist whose Mum and sister have MS, came up with the concept after he wrote a song based on something his Mum said to him. The album takes 14 composers from around the world, 14 songs about women who are affected by MS in some way and has 14 leading West End ladies sing them. The reason why there’s 14 songs is because every day there are 14 people diagnosed with MS in the UK.
I’m a great believer that music transcends age, gender, religion, race, sexuality… Telling these women’s stories through song has been a fantastic way of allowing MS to seep into the hearts and minds of the listener in a completely novel way. Plus, the stories are transposable. Other people will be able to relate to them – whether they have another chronic condition or disability. Everyone will find something that will make them stop and think “this song is talking about me.” It will really help people to understand what those affected by MS go through because it’s still a very misunderstood condition. I’ve laughed, cried and smiled throughout the album. It’s available via CD and iTunes and all proceeds go to the MS Society so it’s raising money to help us to beat MS too! You can purchase the CD via: http://www.simgproductions.com/Records/MS_Song_Cycle.html
Thank you so much Trishna!
Interviewed by Karen Bryson
For information and support on MS
MS Society UK: www.mssociety.org.uk
Ms Song Cycle: Twitter