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Reepa becomes ambassador for Wolves Foundation

Proud Wolverhampton grime artist Reepa is delighted to have become an ambassador of Wolves Foundation and is committed to providing a positive and vibrant representation of his home city.

The musician and rapper, real name Amani Allen, was born and brought up in Heath Town, and has combined his work as a personal trainer with his love of music which also included becoming the first artist signed by the club’s label, Wolves Records.

Having already contributed to several important Foundation initiatives in recent years, Reepa was also the focus of the recent video feature about the importance of positive mental health filmed outside Molineux before the Luton game, a hugely important piece of work which has already attracted over 15 million views online.

“It means so much to me to become an ambassador of Wolves Foundation,” he says.

“I love representing Wolverhampton as a city, love representing the people of Heath Town and love representing people of my demographic and skin colour.

“There can be lot of stigma around Wolverhampton but I love it – home is home – and it’s important to be positive about the city and what we can do.

“I grew up in Heath Town when there was a lot of violence and gang wars going on, especially at that really important age between 16 and 18, and at times that was tough.

“At that age, and with my demographic, it was easy to get involved with the wrong things, and at times I did, but I’d like to think I have turned it around and kept myself on the straight and narrow.

“I know when I was younger, I had role models from my area who I looked up to, and if I can be anything like that for young people now then that is something I’d love to do.

“You don’t know it until you see it, and you don’t know better until you see better, and it’s important that we all realise that there is hope that we can do something with our lives.

“So for me, being integrated into Wolves Foundation as an ambassador means a lot and is something I am very thankful for.”

Reepa’s love of rapping was launched on the school playground, later building a reputation across the Midlands by taking part in different events and competitions.

He also built a career as a personal trainer across different gyms in the city, which has also been important for his own physical and mental health, which he sees as another cornerstone of the Foundation’s delivery.

He recently attended one of the weekly Head 4 Health sessions run by the club’s official charity, as well as taking part in the video to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, where he wore a Wolves scarf as a blindfold and held up a placard highlighting statistics around suicide and offering a hug and a chat.

“Filming that video was a really telling experience and I could see how much it meant to the people who engaged,” Reepa explains.

“I think because I was blindfolded people were more inclined to stop and talk as they didn’t feel they were going to be judged.

“Some tapped me on the shoulder and had a brief interaction whereas others stopped for a hug or a chat and were talking about things that had happened to them both recently, or in years gone by.

“And a lot of people were checking if I was ok which I really appreciated but it wasn’t about me – I have had my own struggles but this was more about the fans who were engaging.

“I also enjoyed visiting a Head 4 Health session recently and I’m a big advocate for promoting mental health and for people who are trying to stay strong.

“I am also a big believer in needing coping mechanisms, and for me, coming from a sporting background including playing football to a decent level, physical activity such as the gym has always helped me.

“It’s not the answer for everyone, but for me the gym can alleviate the symptoms of various mental health challenges and I know the Foundation is also a major advocate for the importance of positive mental and physical health.”

As well as his previous contributions to the Foundation’s health output, Reepa has also played his part in other areas of the charity’s operation including voicing a video ahead of the Molineux Sleepout and then attending last year’s event.

“We are delighted to have welcomed Reepa on board to join our team of ambassadors,” says Foundation senior manager Tom Warren.

“His story offers a powerful example of how hard work and learning from good role models has helped him during his career and his desire to deliver a positive impact and help people across Wolverhampton fits perfectly alongside the Foundation’s values.

“Reepa has already made strong contributions across Foundation projects, including the recent video which has proved so impactful to a huge audience, and we are all looking forward to working together on many more initiatives moving forward.”