What brings you joy?
Helen: My dogs and my granddaughters – the unconditional love and laughter and cuddles.
Andy: Being outside with my dogs.
What does self-care look like for you?
Helen: Many things, but mainly nutrition. I see food as nourishment for my body and try to make healthy choices. Since becoming vegan a year ago, I feel so much more aligned with my values too.
Andy: Saturday night – watching a film with my family and tasty snacks.
What is your greatest achievement?
Helen: The year I turned 50, I entered the Great North Run, having never run before in my life. I trained every day for 9 months and managed to complete the half marathon in under three hours without stopping to walk once. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically and it boosted my confidence in my ability to do hard things.
Andy: In 2019, I had the privilege of trekking to Everest Base Camp with my two eldest sons. I walked further and climbed higher than I had ever done before.
What’s your most treasured possession?
Helen: My violin. It was an 18th birthday present and still brings me a lot of joy. I’m currently missing playing with other people but every time I pick my violin up, it nourishes my soul.
Andy: I’m not big on possessions but I do love my new fountain pen. Obviously, phone and laptop matter because they are the tools of my trade!
What do you do to relax?
Helen: Play Scrabble, read, watch TV and films, swim, have a bath, get out in the sun.
Andy: The same as everyone else!
What does living sustainably look like for you?
Helen: I love clothes, but I haven’t bought any new clothes in over a year and I have found much joy in that choice. As a vegan, I try to buy seasonal fruit and veg. I’m committed to not flying any more, even though I love the sun.
Andy: No meat, minimising dairy, buying less often and mending more, enjoying people and places rather than things.
Name one thing you couldn’t live without.
Helen: A pen and paper. I love to doodle, it’s compulsive. And I have to write down ideas – that’s why I have been gifted so many beautiful notebooks!
Andy: Cafedirect Intense Roast Ground Coffee
What’s one thing that would surprise us about you?
Helen: I love the feeling of being in water but have a huge fear of big waves – and yet I have a morbid fascination with watching extreme surfing videos!
Andy: I’ve never broken a bone in my body.
What are you passionate about?
Helen: Climate emergency, because we’re heading towards extinction and I can’t turn a blind eye.
Andy: Justice, rescuing our world for future generations.
Name one thing you learnt in 2020.
Helen: Society (globally) is capable of drastic and immediate change, if required.
Andy: Even loners get lonely