Interview: Bonnie Alberts of Napoli Unplugged

Bonnie Alberts - one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guid to Naples

Bonnie Alberts – one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples

“I don’t see how an American can ask me if Naples is safe!”

Bonnie Alberts is an American, a well-travelled American, who has lived in Naples, Italy for a decade.

“I don’t understand the reputation – it’s a breathing, working city.”

Continue reading

Published in the Church Times: Interview with a military chaplain

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 3.01.04 PM

Military operations and the padre: reasons for being there

Rev Alan Steele MBE officiating at the D-Day services at Pegasus Bridge for this year's 70th anniversary

Rev Alan Steele MBE officiating at the D-Day services at Pegasus Bridge for this year’s 70th anniversary

The role of a padre serving with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD) is to minister to soldiers and their families, to give them pastoral, spiritual and moral support. The padres are commissioned as chaplains but wear officers’ rank, leaders but without command. They are sent wherever soldiers are sent, and are moved individually between units every two to three years.

Reverend Alan Steele MBE, senior padre of 16 Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester, has accompanied soldiers on two full operational tours to Afghanistan, as well as tours to Macedonia and Northern Ireland.

Continue reading

Military operations through the eyes of the padre: ‘sent wherever soldiers are sent’

Rev Alan Steele out on the ground

Rev Alan Steele out on the ground

The role of a padre serving with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD) is to minister to soldiers and their families, to give them pastoral, spiritual and moral support. The padres are commissioned as chaplains but wear officers’ rank, leaders but without command. They are sent wherever soldiers are sent, and are moved individually between units every two to three years.

The Reverend Alan Steele MBE is in his early fifties and is the senior padre of 16 Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester. The interview is in his book-lined Army quarter where his two teenage children serve us tea and ginger biscuits.

Steele had his first tour of duty to Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment (2 Para) in 2001/2002.
Continue reading

Interview with Lance Ramsay, General Manager of the Bakerloo Line: “Nothing comes first time. It doesn’t come easy.”

The final piece from the feature on the Underground published by the online magazine, The New Londoners, in June 2014

The final piece from the feature on the Underground published by the online magazine, The New Londoners, in June 2014

Interview with Julia Molony, founder of The Ripple Pond: ‘When my son had his leg amputated it just finished me off’

Julia Molony in February 2012 - when The Ripple Pond was first set up

Julia Molony in February 2012 – when The Ripple Pond was first set up

Some figures to consider (click on this link for further information): Issued By: Defence Statistics (Health), Ministry of Defence
“During the overall time period 7 October 2001 to 30 September 2013:
a. 2009/10 recorded the highest number of UK Service personnel who sustained a partial or complete limb amputation as a result of injuries in Afghanistan with 24 amputees.
b. Financial year 2010/11 recorded the highest number of UK Service personnel who sustained a partial or complete limb amputation as a result of injuries in Afghanistan with 75 amputees.” Continue reading

The Migrants Resource Centre works to help others deal with change

(Published in 2012)

The Migrants’ Resource Centre in London works to improve the lives of immigrants in the United Kingdom. They have helped me, and many others, to learn new skills, and new confidence. I cannot thank them enough.

In the clip below Clive Handy articulates some of the cultural confusion felt by a certain sector of the British population that finds itself caught up in change. It is worth noting that 5 million UK nationals are now living abroad.

(With thanks to Rod Aguirre, Isabel Cortes and the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC) for their help with the production of the video.)