A local artist, Miranda Trojanowska, will be having an exhibition of her paintings at DINA as part of Open Up Sheffield, a yearly open studios event, with a donation from each sale going to the South Yorkshire branch of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
Miranda, who took up art after an academic career as a research scientist in biochemistry describes her abstract expressionist paintings as “… evolution of thought, creativity, emotion, passion, love, personality and more importantly, the essence and soul of myself…”.
While her art might demonstrate her passion, so too does her voluntary work for her local SSAFA branch, where she has been caseworker since 2021.
She picks up the story, saying:
“It was about four years ago that through work – as a tutor with a company mentoring and training people for new careers – I met a veteran of the Gulf War. His experience of that forgotten conflict had left him with crippling PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
“Although he successfully completed his qualification, I felt that there was more, something beyond that qualification, that I could have done.”
Miranda, who has no experience of Armed Forces life, describes how she became a voluntary caseworker for SSAFA: “An RAF veteran friend mentioned SSAFA – I’d not heard of it before – so I looked into it, and thought: ‘Why not volunteer?’
“I completed my caseworker training in May 2021 and have been taking on cases for SSAFA ever since. It is an incredibly rewarding experience, but very humbling, listening to the stories from the veterans or spouses of veterans who had served our country.
“It’s a privilege to help people that had helped us, and who have helped those of other countries, but I just wish,” she concluded, “that I’d been in a position to help my student more at the time.”
If you – whether a veteran or not – have time to spare to volunteer for SSAFA, then visit ssafa.org.uk/South-Yorkshire.
Miranda’s exhibition is on from Saturday April 30 to Sunday May 8 at DINA, 12 Fitzalan Square, Sheffield S1 2AZ, and she will be able to discuss volunteering for SSAFA with anyone who attends on April 30 and May 7 (11am-4pm). For details on Miranda’s art, click here.