The following was written by Andrew Jenkins, prospective Plaid Cymru candidate for Neath and Swansea East. It is part of a series of articles he is intending to write that explains who he is, why he is standing in the election, and what change he wants to see across the constituency and our country.
My mother is my inspiration.
She has been a nurse in the NHS for more decades than she'd appreciate me saying, she's always been there for my sister and I, and she's one of the most caring and generous person that I've known.
I remember visiting the hospital in which my mother worked at a young age, and I was quickly adopted by all of my "NHS aunties". I can't remember when it happened, but all I know is that seeing the way in which my mother and her colleagues cared for others left an impression on me.
"Just help others, in whatever way you can."
That seemed to be the way my mother worked. Whether it was taking on some caring responsibilities for the son of one of her friends, doing the laundry of a vulnerable person who she discovered was finding it difficult to manage, giving to charity, taking in stray cats who needed a home, or making sacrifices in her life to help me go to university, she is someone who seems to be happiest when helping out.
Even when times were tough for her, even when she was struggling, she always thought of others.
I guess her name - Angela - is quite appropriate. Look, I'm sure she has faults and isn't the utterly selfless person I'm portraying her as, but she's my mum - how else am I supposed to see her?
Throughout my life, I've wanted to live up to her example. I wanted to do something for a living that made a positive difference to people. One of my earliest memories of political activism came from her, when she wrote a letter along with my sister to our MP, highlighting the need for recycling bins in the village. She also joined charitable organisations such as the WWF and the RSPB.
Many years later, when I decided to get politically active, it was her example that helped shape the political values I aspire to.
Empathy. Generosity. Compassion. Understanding.
Whenever there's an issue, I try to look at all sides and understand where people are coming from. I try to look at what would do the most good, for the most people, rather than what might be easiest or more convenient.
Just help others.
If you're looking to get a better idea of who I am, those three words would be the place to start. Hopefully in more articles I write, I'll share some other experiences that have shaped me and what I think we need to do to make a difference in our communities.