“Lockdown reminded me of how fortunate I am: I had a home to go to, a job that I enjoy and a supportive family. For others, it was not this simple”. So when lockdown finally eased, Anastasia chose to walk 160 miles (260km) around London, in support of ‘Miles for Refugees’, an initiative by the British Red Cross. The distance reflects part of a journey that a refugee may have taken to reach safety (the equivalent of walking from Tunis to Sicily).
Every morning for a month, Anastasia walked 9 kilometres through the city, discovering parks and neighbourhoods. “Did you know London is the greenest city in Europe?” On weekends Anastasia would walk a bit further to Richmond or Hampstead Heath. Sometimes friends would join her, other times she would stride out alone. The more she spoke about her cause the more people joined in and the more money she was able to raise. By the end of the month, she had raised £1500. “I want to do it again this year but with a different distance, perhaps Paris to London. That’s 450 km. Maybe that’s a bit far?”
With her school friends, Anastasia tries to do something for charity every year. Previous feats have included the Big Issue night walk, running a half marathon for the Arthur Rank Hospice, organising and collecting clothes for the White Chapel homeless shelter and cycling from Exeter to Cambridge for the Macmillan Cancer Support motivates her, Anastasia says “We’re just so lucky, we’re in good health, we have all the creature comforts we need, we have the time and are able to help. Why wouldn’t we? I also have a great support network, including my wonderful team at work”.
Anastasia’s advice to anyone who wants to help but is unsure how to start: “You don’t have to do something huge or impossible, something is always better than nothing. Raise awareness to change awareness!”
When she’s not raising awareness about causes close to her heart, Anastasia is a Sales Manager in the US Intermediaries team at Pictet Asset Management in London. She hopes to join the rest of the team in New York in 2021. Anastasia has been at Pictet for five years.