Updated: Apr 23
I'm always humbled by the amazing things people do every year in support of International Women's Day. This year, I wanted to do something. So I took on the #StepOutInSolidarity challenge to support Rape Crisis England and Wales. Every day for 30 days I walked at least 6,000 steps and painted a picture of one thing I saw that day. Please support them by donating.
Started with walks in my local area – paragliding is popular!
I spent a lot of time researching the impact of trauma and sexual assault while I was writing my book The Shadows We Cast. This is one reason I wanted to support Rape Crisis and all the amazing things they do. Access to support at such a difficult time is vital for all women, and they helped almost 80,000 women between 2020 and 2021.
It was great to look out for things every time I went walking that I could paint later
The other reason I wanted to take on this challenge is because I knew exercise would be important. I spent four weeks in February going to and from the hospital every day for radiotherapy. It was tough, but knowing I was doing this challenge meant I had a real incentive to leave the house. Please donate if you can.
Around halfway through I started noticing flowers and spring arriving
Finding the time to do my steps and my painting was difficult, especially when the school holidays fell during the challenge! But I really appreciated going out into the world and finding something 'beautiful' that I could turn into an image. It changed the way I looked at things, and certainly helped me through this difficult time. Please donate if you can.
These days were special – the radiotherapy ended and I did my first run since my operation
It also gave me a sense of each day being special. If I was going to create something around that day, it became more of an event, and not just another day to get through. I can't say I'll have the time to carry on doing this every day, but I hope it's taught me the benefits of going out into the world every day and finding one thing that is special. Please donate if you can.
It feels huge now I look back through all those pages!
Please support Rape Crisis England and Wales by donating to my page here.