The greatest delight of my job is meeting new people. Sometimes the circumstances in which we meet are happy. Often, less so. If I have learned anything so far in life, it is that everybody has a story to tell.


Above is Sandra Staffiero, of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. She’s a retired school secretary who, aged 20, was involved in a moped crash.

She suffered a double compound fracture which prevented her from walking properly and left her in excruciating chronic pain.

In 2011 she went to her doctor.

“I said ‘I cannot carry on like this’,” she says. “I had no quality of life. I just asked if he could do a major operation. I did not even mention the word amputation.

“When I made the decision I just felt as though a massive cloud had been lifted.

“It is a decision I have never regretted even though it is a hard life as an amputee.

Maureen Lear, above, has ridden a scooter for more than 50 years. She lived through the “Mods and Rockers” scene. Her recollection is more sedate.

“I had friends who were rockers and we used to go to cafes and they were always friendly. There were no fights. There must have been squabbles, but I never got involved.

“I wasn’t keen on getting on the back of a motorbike, whizzing down the road, hanging on for dear life. No, there’s nothing like a scooter.”

Ray and Alison Johnson
Ray and Alison Johnson

Ray and Alison Johnson photographed here outside their son, Elliott’s, bedroom. Elliott was a young Conservative activist who killed himself amid allegations of bullying.