Sharing Stories, Boosting Morale, Changing Lives

Dare to Hope UK, founded March 2018

About | What is #Project28 | Participate | Donate | Contact

“When your confidence and morale are high you can dare to hope for positive change and begin to possess the will power to make it a reality, in your life, in your community” – Elysse A. Adjemon, Founder & Director



Elysse is a British visual artist, social entrepreneur and mental health activist. Elysse founded Dare to Hope UK (Dare to Hope) and initiated #Project28ShadesofGrey with the purpose of boosting morale and confidence in those affected by poor mental health, both those who suffer and their loved ones, so that they can feel empowered to go on and live fulfilling lives.  Having had direct personal experience of poor mental health herself, Elysse is all too familiar with how easy it can be to lose all hope when circumstances are bleak, so is dedicated to spreading the message that things can and do get better.

Through Dare to Hope, Elysse and her team wish to encourage others to be open about their experiences and never feel they have to hide away in shame.

Dare to Hope’s first major project is book initiative, Project 28 Shades of Grey, which aims to form a peer community of support for those who have been or are affected by poor mental health.

“Life can be likened to shades of grey. The good times are white, the bad times black and the rest in between. Since having experienced poor mental health throughout my life, I wanted to help others, so, for my 28th I came up with an idea of forming a peer support community, through a book, for those affected by poor mental health. When you realise you are not alone it boosts your morale enabling you to dare to hope again.”  – Elysse


What is #Project28ShadesofGrey ?

Project 28 Shades of Grey is a revolutionary global initiative, starting in the UK, dedicated to forming a peer support community & positive attitude towards mental health, through the idea of a book containing many real-life stories. Reading real journeys from despair to hope and accomplishment are a great comfort to those unable to see an end to their pain.

What if the moment you needed encouragement, you could just pick up a book and read other people’s real-life stories? Stories of all the weird and wonderful experiences they have had with their own mental health, overcome in their own way and the little things which helped them through?

If you or a loved one sends your story between 250 – 750 words, along with up to 28 things which keep you smiling, Dare to Hope will add them to all the stories already received and publish them in a book

The book will then be available for people to buy, read and be encouraged. Copies will also be present in hospitals

During the bad times, it is often the little things which prevent the onset of darker shaded days, small comforts which help make you smile. What also really helps is being aware that you are not alone. Hearing from other people who have experienced similar suffering, gotten through and gone on to live happy lives is invaluable. It can cut through loneliness and step-by-step help build back your self-confidence.

Reading real stories will raise morale. It will also further reinforce that although the battle is tough things can and do get better. Elysse will participate and include one of her own stories and reasons which keep her smiling. This project is on-going.

Book royalties will go back into advancing Dare to Hope’s mission and a portion will be donated to mental health charities such as Mind and Heads Together.


How to Participate,
Share Your Story

To participate, download and complete this form, write your story and email the form to with your name and #Project28 in the subject.

When writing your story, it may be useful to put the shoe on the other foot and think ‘If this wasn’t my story, would hearing it from someone else have helped me?

Chances are the answer will be yes and the story suitable.

Guidance on how to write your story is given in the my story document.
The main aim of the stories are to give hope and combat stigma.

You do not need to be an accomplished writer, just have the heart and courage to share your story in good faith. You may also choose to remain anonymous if you wish.

If you need help writing your story, get in touch. Elysse may be able to arrange a phone chat or meet you in person (in London) to help you type it up, free of charge.

Mental health disorders do not discriminate. Whether you are a successful business woman/man, an equally successful stay at home parent or anything in between, Dare to Hope would love to hear from you.

Mental health disorders can arise without warning for no apparent reason or due to horrific life events. There are no strict restrictions on the type of stories except that they should be related to mental health, either your own experiences or experiences through a loved one. No topic is off limits from Psychosis, Mania, Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Self-Harm, Domestic Abuse, Drug Addiction and many more.

The stories should be between 250 – 750 words and you may also include a list of up to 28 things which keep you smiling.

–Click here to Download My Story Document–

Dare to Hope is not currently taking donations, but please please spread the word! You spreading the word is invaluable. There are also other ways to help which will require up to 3 hours of your time per week. Contact  if you are interested.


Send your story to
General questions
Follow us on Twitter @Project28Shades

Alternatively complete and submit the form below

You will receive a response within 48 hours, usually a lot sooner


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