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After a brief time at drama school and a stint working in fashion in her early twenties, Gemma Cairney is now a BBC broadcaster, magpie and life enthusiast who has won awards for making documentaries on subjects such as young people in violent relationships. She presented The Surgery on BBC Radio 1 and co-produced and presented internet entertainment show The Fox Problem. Gemma has presented shows and one-offs for BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, 2, 3, 4, 4 Extra, 6 Music and BBC World Service. She is also founder of boutique production company Boom Shakalaka Productions. She likes to write, explore the planet, trek mountains and DJ garage classics.
Gemma's book Open Your Mind and it's companion volume Open Your Heart are must-have practical guides to navigating the ups and downs of life.
This supportive swoosh of fresh air from a former Radio 1 Agony Aunt and all-round brilliant believer in young people provides perfectly-pitched practical guidance on all manner of vitally important areas. It’s a best friend, big sister and clued-up auntie sculpted into one finely-formed body of information, with Aurelia Lange’s fresh and funky colour illustrations making it easy to navigate and a joy to engage with. Combining stats, facts, the author’s personal insights, and wisdom from experts in their fields, this is a soothing balm for worries about everything from stress, anxiety and depression, to eating disorders and addiction. It also offers inspiration for one’s future self, with comprehensive coverage of politics, volunteering, travelling and careers. Like its sister volume, Open Your Heart, which explores family, friends, body image and sexual health, this is a must-have mindfulness manual for teens and young adults.
If anyone can teach young people how to best understand themselves and their world it’s Gemma Cairney. There are lots of good self-help and advice books but Open Your Heart stands out because of Cairney’s honesty and because of her brilliant, direct voice. Reading it is like being in the same room as her and leaves you feeling more positive, more confident, readier to accept yourself for who you are. It’s divided into two sections: your heart, and your body and soul, and covers topics from family and friends to body image, sex and sexual health. Information is provided by experts, often in the form of interviews by Gemma, all interspersed with her own knowledge and experiences, as well as what she’s learned as Radio 1 agony aunt. A properly invaluable book. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2017 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Utterly invaluable, gloriously gracious guide to life | This heartfelt handbook for young adults by an inspirational presenter and producer is the literary embodiment of a big sister’s shoulder and a best friend’s ear. Split into segments exploring Your Heart, Your Mind, Your Body and Soul, Your World and Future, this warm-hearted, straight-talking nugget of non-fiction gold offers vital advice on dealing with life’s challenges (e.g. depression, bullying, eating disorders, self-harm and grief), while also providing succinctly savvy introductions to politics, feminism, finance and the environment. Cairney confides in her readers throughout, thereby opening a healthy headspace in which individuals can contemplate their own outlook, anxieties and aspirations. The book also offers readers opportunities to personalise the funky graphic pages, which feature thought-provoking, interactive exercises, from playing Family Bingo and taking the Period Quiz, to a map on which to mark your wildest wanderlust dreams. Packed with an abundance of info, insight, empathy and encouragement - from the comforting “we all mess up sometimes”, to the truly uplifting “now go reach for the moon!” - Open is surely set to become THE must-have manual for young women navigating the often-tempestuous waters of their teenage years. ~ Joanne Owen
Full of honest and practical advice from Gemma Cairney and a whole host of trained professionals and real people, Open Your Mind is the best friend of a book everyone needs. From stress, trauma and anxiety, to your place in the world and everything in between. Includes chapters on: Anxiety Depression Addiction Politics Our Natural World Feminism Money And so much more! Gemma Cairney is an important advocate for young people. Her personal insight and time as Radio 1's resident agony aunt on The Surgery makes her perfectly placed to offer advice to young people questioning what life's all about. Discover even more with Open Your Heart: Learn to Love Your Life and Love Yourself.
Full of honest and practical advice from Gemma Cairney and a whole host of trained professionals and real people, Open Your Heart is a best friend in a book. From heartbreak and heartache to body image and everything in between, this book will help you learn to love your body, your friends and your family, and tell you what to do if things go wrong. Includes chapters on: Family Friendship Bullying Love Heartbreak Death, grief and loss Periods Body image Exercise Food Sex Gender and sexuality Sexual health and more!
Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be is full of honest advice about the big, bad and beautiful things that growing up is all about: from mental health to families to first love, and everything in between. Gemma Cairney is an important advocate for young people and between her life experiences and her personal insight from her time as Radio 1's resident agony aunt on The Surgery, she is perfectly placed to offer hope and a huge comforting cuddle to young people questioning what life's all about or dealing with hard times. Along with practical help and advice from a range of experts and gorgeous illustrations, this bright and colourful book also has a ribbon marker and plenty of space for readers to personalize and make it their own, making Open a treasured resource to return to whenever advice is needed.