By Anita Graafland
Bev says: “I was born in the early fifties so had plenty of experience of the benefits the UK had received as a result of EU membership. Needless to say, I voted remain and was extremely angry that those benefits would not be available for future generations, but felt that I had no voice.
In 2019, after travelling to London for one of the marches on a coach organised by Cornwall for Europe, I found the group, and also my voice. CfE gave me the platform to express my anger, disgust and frustration at the injustice of Brexit and the damage caused to the UK by selfish, narrow-minded individuals. It also gave me the opportunity to campaign for remain and to try to persuade others that there were no positives to leaving the EU – and it introduced me to many like-minded friends. Those friends have now almost become a second family.
I’m disgusted with our current government, I still feel just as passionately that our place should be within the EU and I will be continuing to campaign for the closest possible relationship for as long as I’m able.”
Having covered our three main officers and beloved former chair, it’s time to put an incredibly important person in the limelight, even if I should have perhaps focused on our press and media officers first. Like me, she has been co-opted onto the CfE Executive Team without an official role, but unlike me – who used to attend meetings only until tasked with the responsibility of producing a newsletter – she is everywhere. When I was flailing and sputtering that I couldn’t possibly do that, she and Ann immediately said they’d help. And as you can tell from this issue, they do much, much more than that, whereas I just coordinate and write the occasional piece about my travels.
It sums up Bev to tee. Where help is needed, Bev rides to the rescue. She’s always there, always pulling more than her weight, always willing to help, and always up in arms about a good cause. She was the one who argued we should extend our newsletter remit to the Cornwall housing crisis. And she also always shows up to any stall we organise. She’s an incredibly hard worker and a very good writer. And unlike us prima donnas who need deadlines to buckle down to things, she hands in her stuff almost immediately after we’ve kicked off towards a new newsletter. Any organisation needs queen bees and leaders, but they’d be nothing, absolutely nothing without the essential workers. And that’s what Bev is, the ultimate essential worker that keeps Cornwall for Europe ticking over and makes us all want to do the work. At the newsletter, she’s taken on responsibility for our intros, contact with external contributors, my Brexit Story, coffee mornings, and much, much more. And, by the way, did I tell you that everyone at a CfE Exec meeting shuts up and listens whenever Bev has a point to make? That’s because it matters!