From 2019-20 Theresa was Young People’s Laureate for London, a year-long role launched by writer development agency Spread the Word with the aim of helping London’s youth find confidence in their voice. During her time in the role, Theresa chose to specialise in promoting poetry’s connection to mental health, hosting residencies at Bethlem Museum of the Mind, the Wellcome Collection, the Free Word Centre, and St Paul’s Cathedral, all the while hosting online workshops on social media. “Through Instagram, I discovered this wonderful exchange. I love the fact that a person in Bromley could be touched by a poem written in Finland,” says Theresa, “I mean #poetry has millions of hits, and more and more young people are seeing themselves in poems.” During her tenure, Theresa launched a series of campaigns on social media including #SayYourPeace, which aimed to encourage people to write poems themed around what brings them peace, and #MyMentalHealthJourney, a campaign that advocated the writing of poetry as a therapeutic tool for wellness.
No stranger to high-profile events, Theresa performed at the unveiling of the statue of suffragist leader Dame Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, taking to the stage with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the then Prime Minister Theresa May. “It was so surreal, particularly because my grandma was in the audience – I love that she got the celebrity entrance pass! I remember being backstage with Sadiq, he was pacing up and down practising what he was going to say. I was nervous, he was nervous – brilliant!” says Theresa of that moment.