Dr Valerie Mason-John

Dr. Valerie Mason-John

Dr. Valerie Mason-John (hon.doc) M.A. also called Vimalasara, is an award-winning author, public speaker and Buddhist Teacher with a large body of work around trauma and addiction. Her TED Talk on Bullying has had 360,000 views to date.

In the care of Barnardo’s village until the age of 11, Valerie went on to live on the streets, spend time in Borstal and ultimately emerge with a path and a calling that reached back to her reputation even as a child: as a defender of the underdog. Valerie discusses the racism and bullying of her childhood, how her decisions and experiences shaped her as a person and an author, and what makes care leavers special.


In this interview, a young care leaver, Stacy, interviews Valerie about their common experiences as women of colour in the care system.

You can also listen on Apple PodcastSpotify and Castbox.

Valerie was the winner of the Mind Book of the Year Award for her fictional memoir, Borrowed Body, about growing up in Barnardo’s. It is available for purchase here.

Read some of Valerie’s poems, or explore her website.