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Some questions for Sara


Question: What do you do to unwind at the end of a long day? Answer:Working part time, I feel my “work-life” balance is good, but there are still lots of things I enjoy doing at the end of the day, particularly yoga in the garden. I have recently set aside time to go swimming every week and I love walking with Barnie, my labrador. I am more of a ‘gentle’ exercise type of person! You may also find me snuggled in the hammock with a book, relaxing in the spa (preferably without kids and when the stars are out) or wallowing in the bath. Alternatively anything involving wine and chocolate is favoured, or gossiping with my amazing friends; best of all is spending time at home with Nigel and our three kids, two cats, dog and lots of fish.


Question: What do you like most about being a charity worker? Answer: I love the fact we help families. When we had to live in Southampton for nearly four months when Grace was born, we had two young children, a mortgage, bills and rent to pay on a flat in the U.K. so we could be together. You then realise how alone you actually are, and how much it all comes down to money. Thankfully we had time to fundraise before we went and had the support of family and friends. Lots of people are suddenly thrown into that situation and find themselves worrying about the financial side of it when they need to be focusing on the emotional side. So to be able to be there when people need that support and advice is a good feeling.


Question: What do you most dislike about being a charity worker? Answer: Only two things really. Firstly, it’s a time issue and it can be frustratingly difficult to get jobs done and things organised. But, we do the best we can and everyone comes through in the end. Secondly, at times I find it emotionally hard helping families who are going through a really bad time. There have only been a couple of occasions where things didn’t turn out as hoped, and that's very upsetting as you know what the parents are going through. But we have so many amazing families we have helped who are so brave and strong it makes it all worthwhile.


One of my main aims this year is to archive all the files. As we grow bigger and help more people, I have paperwork everywhere, and the teacher in me needs things organized! Our lounge is our office and I dream of the day we can afford a loft conversion, and then I will have a proper office with shelves and folders galore!


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One of my other jobs is bribing our committee members to make presentations as we often get invited to talk to schools, and on a couple of occasions, businesses, who have raised money for the charity and would like someone to talk about what we do. I am not great at speaking in public, but fortunately my husband Nigel and our chairman Aiden are now professionals at this.


As I write this, we are organising our annual ball in November and this will be our fifth one. It is always a big job although Judith and her team at the Royal Yacht hotel know us very well now, and so each year it gets slightly easier. The difficulty is keeping it exciting, new and value for money, thinking of a new theme, and trying to find ways of making money without being too pushy or putting people off.


20/20 A day in the life of... Page 99 s


Question: How did you become a charity worker? Answer: All because of Grace! It just made sense and seemed the right thing to do, and it helped us deal with everything that happened to us. It’s her legacy, and I love it when our youngest, who was born after Grace, talks about her and the charity even though he never met her. Seeing the charity grow makes me proud to be a part of it, especially having dedicated and passionate people leading us in new directions, such as working with Andium homes and the Health Department.


Question: What advice would you give someone, either just starting their career or midway through their career, who wants to be a charity worker?


Answer: Really believe in the charity and be passionate about what they are trying to achieve. You have to be willing to dedicate time and energy, and for every low point be assured that there are a hundred high points that make it all worth it in the end.


SUPPORTIVE


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