Ilford’s first British Muslim astronaut awarded university fellowship for mental health work

Poet Hussain Manawer becomes Kings College London’s youngest Honorary Fellow. Picture: Illustrious M

Poet Hussain Manawer becomes Kings College Londons youngest Honorary Fellow. Picture: Illustrious Music - Credit: Archant

An Ilford poet, who is set to become the first British Muslim to travel in space, received an honorary fellowship for raising awareness about mental health.

Hussain Manawer, 27, of Ilford was bestowed with a King’s College London award from the social science and public policy faculty during a Barbican ceremony.

He joins the exceptional list of King’s Fellows, which includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lord Attenborough, Lord Hall of Birkenhead and comedian Jo Brand.

The fellowship comes at a time Hussain has just launched the UK’s largest mental health youth festival in partnership with Twitter called #HussainsHouseLive.

He also recently set the Guinness World Record for The World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson.

“I put my heart and soul into everything I do because the journey of my own mental health has been an adventurous one,” Hussain said.

“I just don’t want anyone to ever feel alone.

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“I am very grateful to King’s College London for recognising my work, this is a big deal I can’t lie.”

A spokesman from King’s College London said Hussain has reached diverse audience with his work, from “presidents, princesses, professors and prisoners”.

He has shared a staged with Oscar winning actress Cher, pop-star Ellie Goulding and leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Kofi Anan and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

“Hussain has used social media platforms as well as educational institutes to spread his work, within the field of mental health,” he said.

“He has galvanised a huge magnitude of followers from across the world as he openly speaks and performs on topics such as bereavement and grief, whilst unpacking their relationships with depression and anxiety, along with tackling new age social pressures and cultural stigma.”

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “Hussain is a true advocate for mental health and we love working with him and supporting his drive to get people to talk about their mental health.

“He is a passionate, inspiring and talented young man who really deserves this prestigious award.

“His poetry and creative word, drives important and positive messages around mental health, that will empower anyone who is going through a tough time.”