Rowena Quantrill was house hunting when she first noticed posters advertising her local Oxfam campaigning group in Bradford on Avon in South West England. She contacted the group to find out more and - 20 years on - has been a committed member ever since.
"Some of my closest friends are people in the Oxfam group," she says. "We have a lot in common and we do have fun, but I think we also keep issues in front of people. We stop issues of injustice and poverty from falling out of people's minds."
Over the past 20 years, Rowena has campaigned on everything from climate change to landmines to fair trade, often working closely with other local groups.
"I think fairness and justice are so important," she says. "The gap between rich and poor is appalling." The group meets regularly over coffee to plan how to get issues noticed. They run awareness-raising events, meet regularly with local MPs and attend marches to put poverty on the agenda.
For Rowena, the marches in particular represent much of what she loves about the Oxfam group. "It's so heartening, to see people who feel the same way all working together for the same aim."
One element of Oxfam's work in particular has inspired Julie Essex to tackle Trailwalker, our 100km challenge, three times - equality.
"It's Oxfam's work empowering women that really interests me," says Julie, who in her spare time coaches girls to play cricket, encouraging them to always believe in themselves.
"I think it's so important for the same opportunities to be available to everybody."
A keen runner, Julie has experienced the atmosphere at events of all sizes. But she says there's something special about Trailwalker - and would encourage anyone to take on the challenge. It involves teams of four trekking for 30 hours together to raise vital funds for Oxfam's work.
There are so many unforgettable ways to change lives. With friends. Fundraise, campaign, volunteer, donate, shop - it's your call.
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