A Cambridge University undergraduate has had a collection of self-care poetry published.

Imani Shola, 20, whose debut book Heart Shards and Lip Balm offers words of comfort and support to young people with depression and low self-esteem, was a pupil at Palmers Green High School.

Imani, who is a straight A* pupil at GCSE and A Level, was at her former school on Tuesday December 19 to talk with students about what inspired her to start writing.

Imani, said: “The collection really came from a desire to simply love my generation, among whom depression and real lack of self-care and self-esteem are rife.

“I saw it among my peers and it breaks my heart.

“I wanted to make a radical, positive change – so I wrote a book.”

Cambridge academics are working with Imani on translating her book into different languages to inspire people from other nations.

There are also plans to donate copies of the collection to UK prisons and homeless shelters.

Mrs Doe, who taught Imani English, said: “While at Palmers Green High School, Imani always stood out as a talented and enthusiastic pupil who particularly enjoyed both English Language and Literature.

“She demonstrated a developing love of poetry and creative writing, taking advantage of the opportunity to enter a national competition in order to share her work with a wider audience.

“The school was therefore thrilled to learn that Imani had her first poetry anthology, ‘Heart Shards and Lip Balm’, published in July of this year and knew that she would be able to inspire our younger pupils with extracts from her collection of self-care poetry which was written partly to address mental health issues amongst today’s millennial generation.”

At the age of 14 poets Imtiaz Dharker and Glyn Maxwell handed Imani the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, when chosen ahead of 6,000 other writers from 76 countries.

Her other achievements include the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Scholarship, the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship, and the House of Commons’ London Schools and the Black Child Awards for London’s most outstanding black student.

Heart Shards and Lip Balm was written over 11 months as Imani managed a full-time Cambridge academic programme.

A central theme of the book is the growing number of young people battling depression in a period of history beset with tragedy.

Imani reflects on the emotional fall-out of the Grenfell Tower incident and negative newspaper headlines that tell of global woes.

Terrorism, the impacts of social media upon millennials, sexual abuse, mental illness, depression, immigration and Iman’s own experiences as a woman of colour are covered in poems and supportive notes to mourning readers.

The subjects of femininity, sexuality, family breakdown, faith, betrayal and disillusionment are also on the author’s radar.

Andrews McMeel Publishing who publish the New York Times bestselling self-care collection, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, describe Imani’s poetic voice as ‘beautiful’ and the collection as one of ‘concept and heart’.

Iman has spoken about her achievements and experiences as a woman of Caribbean descent studying at Cambridge on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

When not writing poetry and studying, Imani offers academic advice to over 6,000 18-to-25-year-olds on her YouTube channel youtube.com/imanishola.

To find out more about Imani Shola her Twitter and Instagram feed is @imanishola, her blog at www.imanishola.com.