I was born in Madrid, Spain and grew up going back and forth between Yorkshire, England and the Canary Islands before finally settling down in the UK.

The Canary islands was an international and traditional Catholic environment, where helping and welcoming people to our open and inclusive society was all the norm.  In Yorkshire, the communities ran a silent language of nodding approvals or disapprovals to the rhythms of the subdued mill towns, with people keeping to themselves to themselves, not questioning their place in society. Here I was sent to All Saint’s Catholic College in Huddersfield, which had a strong humanist and social tradition. It was here where in my mid-teens I got involved with Oxfam. Through raising funds for the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s I learnt that we don’t need to accept the injustices of the world, if we are able to help no matter how small, we can be effective with a butterfly ripple.

In the school holidays. I volunteered and co-led a summer camp for a British charity looking after the children of army families stationed in Berlin. When I was there I needed to have an officer walking with me, going around on my own I’d be arrested as a spy by the East Germans who were guarded and supported by the Russians. This was when I learnt that Russia is the bully in the playground wanting to grab your dinner money.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine felt like a personal assault. I felt our democratic values, what we’ve reached today, evolving into a community of people, our values were being assaulted in this action, it was like someone was trying to take us back into the Middle Ages. I don’t feel able to just stand by as a witness and watch that happen without doing what I can to help. I want to protect those 16 year old boys who like me should never have experienced such fear and seen such aggression. I joined Mums4Ukraine to make whatever difference I can. I will draw, create, design and through this, the best way I can support anybody, do my utmost to help Ukrainians, who are on the front line. Fighting for us, for the things we take for granted here, for freedom, for democracy, for their country, for empowerment and a better society. I think that would be the best way I can support anybody.

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