‘I love the town’ - Tireless community hero Daniel Harvey on why he helps the people of Ipswich
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
An Ipswich man facing his own health battles has spoken of his passion to help others in Suffolk.
Daniel Harvey, 27, from Ipswich has many passions in life of which music and helping people are just two.
Mr Harvey is well known in the Ipswich music scene, both through his role as a DJ and the work he does bringing music to the community through workshops and talks.
“The biggest part of my life has been music,” said Mr Harvey.
“Music helps us open up. It brings everyone together. Encouraging younger and older to people to make connections.”
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As well as performing himself, Mr Harvey is also a member of the Ipswich Music Day committee which helps to organise the annual event.
“We are doing so much with the town,” said Mr Harvey.
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July should have seen the 30th anniversary of the music which brings a number of free music stages to the town to show off local talent.
Sadly the event was unable to go ahead this year because of the pandemic but despite this, Mr Harvey has still been helping others to enjoy live music.
“I wanted to do an online music festival,” said Mr Harvey. “I got Suffolk musicians involved.”
The festival was hosted for those with autism and ADHD who might not normally be able to enjoy live music because of sensory overload.
“I wanted to give them a space where they could be part of a live music festival,” said Mr Harvey.
The event was a great success.
The gig wasn’t the only work that Mr Harvey did to help others during lockdown.
Early on, Mr Harvey became part of the Ipswich Anti-Loo Roll Brigade group on Facebook which has been working to help people across the town get the help and support they need during the pandemic.
The group works with support services and other local representatives to assist people in need.
Mr Harvey was one of the first admins of the group and saw how the very positive impact it had on people.
“It’s a page where people can seek support,” said Mr Harvey. “We have been there during lockdown.
“We have been doing good stuff and supporting people.”
As the scale of the pandemic became clear more and more people began to look for help or offer it on the page.
“We had 2,000 members and then it went up to 5,000 members,” said Mr Harvey. “That’s when we started to build up the team.”
The page has continued to grow and now stands at over 10,000 members.
“It’s been really nice,” said Mr Harvey. “We have seen people supporting each other.”
Mr Harvey does all this work to help others while managing his own conditions; ME and fybromyalgia.
The conditions leave Mr Harvey in some considerable pain.
However, rather than see the conditions as a problem Mr Harvey has seen them as an opportunity to educate others, sharing his own experiences on a range of topics, including mental health.
“I use my Facebook to talk about it,” said Mr Harvey.
“I was very open.”
Preventing discrimination in the workplace for those with disabilities has become a further passion of Mr Harvey’s which has seen him become a caseworker for Unison.
He also works with the not for profit organisation, Autism and ADHD.
The company provides support to help families and individuals with the conditions, helping them to better understand the diagnosis.
With so much work and volunteering to do, what is it that motivates Mr Harvey to keep going and help others in such huge ways?
“One of the people I have huge motivation from is Annie Clements,” said Mr Harvey.
Dr Clements is Mr Harvey’s boss at Austism and ADHD.
“She has helped thousands of people and she has worked on the front line,” said Mr Harvey.
Mr Harvey’s passion for his community is another thing that helps him keep going.
Despite being offered to go elsewhere, Mr Harvey said he couldn’t see himself anywhere but Ipswich.
“I love Ipswich,” said Mr Harvey.
“I love the town. I really appreciate what is happening on a community front.
“I love that we are so resilient.”