Forty years ago, Nicole Hood joined a protest trying to increase student grants.

But to her own admission, she wasn't very interested at all and went along mainly to see what it was like.

Fast-forward four decades and the Putney woman has just protested for the second time, but this time the passion was running through her veins.

"I was really nervous about going to the strike on Friday," she said of joining in with thousands of other climate change activists last week.

"I had no intention of going until about two weeks ago when I started to feel I really had to be there and would have to overcome my fear of crowds.

"I asked several friends to go with me and wanted to linger on the edges - show support but not get crushed in the middle. But none of my friends could get the time off work even though they wanted to, so I went with my local Greenpeace group, who are a really nice bunch."

And to make a stand, she wanted to make sure to stand out.

Wandsworth Times:

Nicole Hood

"I wanted to wear something to get attention," she added.

"This is a sad and grave matter, so I thought I would dress in mourning.

"As I made my journey towards the march I felt slightly ridiculous, but I hope it made people wonder, 'why is she dressed like that?'"

So she met up with the rest of the group on the steps of St John Smith Square and her nerves disappeared.

"As I walked along beside them I felt like I had never done anything so important in my life," she said.

"And when we arrived and listened to the passionate speeches made by the various speakers, most of them so young, who are terrified about what their futures will be like, I felt privileged to be surrounded by people who care about the most important issue facing us all, that unites the whole world."

While she appreciates that it may not always be easy to enact change in such a major way, she hopes that the protests will make a difference, no matter how big or small.

"I don't understand how anyone who has a position power to influence the future of our planet, will be able to face their children, or young relations that they care about, and say - I knew about it but I didn't do anything - there were other more important things to deal with," she added.

"You don't need to be good at writing or speaking - you just have to talk from the heart. I wish everyone could email their MP and get this pushed to the top of the agenda."