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3 minutes reading time (594 words)

Mel Perry Joins The Lapidus Board of Directors




Welcome To Mel!


I am honoured to have joined the Board of Lapidus International as a Director, and I am taking up the brief of Research Director vacated by Kim Etherington. 

I was enrolled into Lapidus in 2016 when I began the MSc Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP) at the Metanoia Institute.  I attended Creative Bridges 2019 in Bristol and met many former MSc students and luminaries there. After I had completed my dissertation in 2019 the Lapidus community became a significant lifeline to the  widely dispersed and diverse range of people working in the field.  Having held significant roles with Lapidus through its online Creative Bridges conferences in 2021 and 2023, the LIRIC Journal and Lapidus Living Research Community (LLRC) it felt like a natural progression to become a Director.

My professional background is in health promotion and public health.  I also worked in substance misuse and ran an alcohol and drugs service for 17 years.  In my working life I used poetry like a psalm or prayer and read a poem to myself at the beginning of the day.  This helped to keep me grounded, and was a creative and nurturing antidote to the often stressful and tedious aspects of work. I hope it helped me to remain human. I’m now a poet, spoken word performer and therapeutic writing practitioner.  I am currently working on my third collection inspired by the life of my maternal grandmother. 

I have always been curious about the wider picture in any field in which I have worked. I’m curious about how the way in which we undertake our CWTP work can make a difference.  What is unique about our work, what impact do we have on individuals and communities?  How can we build on experiences through the field to strengthen and share our understanding so that our practice can develop?

All of the research that I have formally conducted has come from my practice and curiosity - as a manager, as a health promotion specialist and as a writing practitioner. Our work is rich and diverse in styles of working, in cultural influences, in the settings within which we work and in the issues of communities and individuals we address. As we reflect on our practice we can adapt in the moment and in future.  We can use our skills in reflection to interrogate and  improve our own individual practice, we can explore that with each other and share this more widely across our community. 

I would like to see Lapidus embrace a programme of research by developing its own funded projects in the future. I would like to see Lapidus members confident that their practice can be viewed and respected as research. 

Do engage with LLRC; do read LIRIC and consider submitting an article. The teams who lead LIRIC and LLRC nurture and support contributors and they have helped me broaden my notion of research and practice in this field. I have developed my practice as a result of LLRC sessions and a discussion at one of these emboldened me to submit my Masters research project to LIRIC journal. 

I believe that we owe it to our participants, be they in research or in our practice, to share our experiences  and with due respect their experiences too.  Research is part of the mycelium that connects and grows our work internationally and all members of Lapidus International are invited to join our LLRC events and chat to me or a member of the LIRIC Board about publication.   

Mel Perry

Research Director, Lapidus International

April 2024

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Comments 1

Guest - Karen Harvey on Wednesday, 05 June 2024 17:55

Welcome Mel,

You will be a great asset to the board. Thank you for stepping up.

Warm wishes

Karen Harvey
North Wales

Welcome Mel, You will be a great asset to the board. Thank you for stepping up. Warm wishes Karen Harvey North Wales
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Monday, 22 July 2024

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