Nurse and Community Organiser

Every community needs someone like Sarah. She trained as a psychiatric nurse, but her energies seem to buoy up so many different projects in Purbeck; from organising local responses to COVID to fund-raising for the charity ‘Will Does’. She even fits in an early morning dip. I caught up with her in one of her favourite Purbeck places, King George’s Playing Field in Swanage, where she sometimes meets with fellow dog-walker and retired Swanage lighthouse attendant,  Michael O’Sullivan.  

Sarah has travelled all over the world, but it was when starting a family, that she and her husband realised they wanted to live somewhere with a real sense of community and with good values. She remembered visiting Swanage on the steam train during a family holiday and the penny dropped.  ‘Everything I wanted for my kids is here,’ she says.

Sarah believes that if you show willingness and are prepared to muck in, you’ll go far.  She says she’s always tried to teach her children that you don’t have to be qualified, or skilled in some special way, to offer help. By throwing yourself into something, you might discover a capability you never knew you had. 

The night before we met, Sarah had organised a board games night at Herston.  It included a couple of people who were new to the area, and who went away feeling warmly welcomed in. Last year, she helped make and distribute 1000 face masks to vulnerable people and to care homes. The Will Does charity is very close to her heart. It was set up to honour a friend of her son’s, Will, who died a few years ago. From the over sixties to the under sixteens, Sarah has the verve and charm to help make a difference Her social intelligence and sense of fun is contagious – in a good way!!

Interviewed by Sue Western - Jan 2022
Part of the Why we love Purbeck series, local Residents tell us what Purbeck means to them.

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