A NATURALIST and painter from Delamere is combining her passions to help stamp out child trafficking in Uganda.

Anchen Bamford is planning a series of sponsored ‘wellness walks’, which combine walking and capturing nature on canvas, to raise money for anti-trafficking charity, One By One.

South African-born Anchen was moved to act after hearing the tragic story of a three-year-old girl, Mercy, who was brutally murdered in Pakistan.

Her body was found on a building site close to One By One’s offices, having been violently beaten, abused and raped.

The charity, which has global reach, is now fundraising for Mercy Centres across the world, with a current focus on Uganda. 

The centre will provide a place of safety and rehabilitation for children and women who have been trafficked in the east African republic. 

Anchen, who lives in Delamere with husband Tom and their two children, said: “I was so upset when I heard the tragic news of the death of little Mercy.

"No child should go through such a horrific ordeal, and I decided to do my bit to help build the Mercy Centre.

“I am an artist with a studio in Delamere, but originally, I’m from South Africa. I use art as a catalyst for change and empowerment, shedding light on social injustices, particularly those affecting marginalised women and children.

“Throughout May, I’m combining creativity with wellness by walking, drawing, and painting in nature, not just for myself, but for a cause close to my heart – One By One and the Mercy Centre.

“This amazing organisation is dedicated to creating safe spaces for the most vulnerable among us. By capturing the beauty of nature through my art, I hope to inspire us all not only to embrace our own wellness, but also to extend a gift to those who are striving to regain their freedom.”

More than 100 people are taking on fundraising challenges to help fund the £150,000 project, and Anchen is hoping to raise £500 through online donations.

One By One CEO, Becky Murray, said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who is taking part, and Anchen has come up with such a unique and interesting challenge to raise valuable funds.

“It’s very exciting to think at the end, there will be two positive outcomes – some amazing art, and some valuable funds for the Mercy Centre.”