After working in academia and then in rugby league development and promotion, I have spent the last seventeen years of my life working in community engagement, development and in the specific areas of equality, diversity, community cohesion and human rights. Indeed, I am recognised and (hopefully) respected for my work both in my adopted home city of Leicester and wider afield.
Originally trained as a musician – I gained a music scholarship to Gordonstoun and then studied music at the University of Durham – I went on to pursue other interests gaining further qualifications from the Universities of Leicester and Leeds. However, my ongoing passion for social justice and history resulted in an immersion in exploring themes related to the Holocaust. During the course of the last fifteen years I have spent many weeks visiting Holocaust related sites in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, undertaking research and taking photographs. I established Holocaust Memorial Day observance at my place of work, producing annual exhibitions and lectures based on my own research material. I have given addresses, talks and slide shows on the Holocaust, am a member of the Leicester Holocaust Memorial Day Committee and worked for a time as the East Midlands Regional Support Worker for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
My identity as a passionate campaigner for human rights also stems from my own mental illness (I have clinical depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I devote a lot of my time to encouraging a greater awareness and understanding of mental ill health, offering advice and guidance to those directly affected and addressing the stigma and discrimination that still seems to accompany mental illness. I have spoken in the media, to organisations (including schools and universities) and in public on these matters.
I have had three books published:
‘Beyond the Heartlands: The History of the Rugby League Conference’ (London League Publications, 31st October 2004);
‘Suspended Disbelief: Reflections on the Holocaust’ (Helion and Company, 16th June 2016); and
‘A Year in Melancholia’ (United p.c., 15th February 2018)
I live in Wigston Harcourt, on the edge of the city of Leicester. I am married (to Lesley) and have four children – Leomi, Luke, Joel and Elliot – and one grandchild – Lily.
I have my own personal website: https://julianharrison.wordpress.com/
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 07767 297566