Sarah was originally going to follow her father and join the army but whilst at college studying for her A levels she got a part time job in a care home to earn some money.
“I realised that I really enjoyed caring for people,” remembers Sarah “and my interest in nursing grew from there. I did my nurse training and have been nursing ever since qualifying in 2007. I couldn’t image doing anything else!”
Sarah gained experience working in intensive care, as a specialist nutrition nurse, running a day-case unit and working on a patient hydration project. Her current role is Sister in a Medical Admission Avoidance Team which involves helping to facilitate early hospital discharge and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
“I love spending time with people and making them feel better,” says Sarah “As well as clinical care I also love one-to-one contact, listening to them, talking and making them laugh and smile. I like to improve their quality of life, even if it’s just for a short period of time.”
During the pandemic restrictions in 2020, Sarah’s husband was forced to close his business due to lack of sales and become a full-time carer for their 7 year old son who is autistic and their 19 month old twins. The family were relying on Sarah’s nursing wage to get by and though money was tight, they were just about managing until October.
“Then the car broke down!” explains Sarah “And the mechanics quoted us £1,200 to get it fixed. We just couldn’t afford to pay it.”
The family car was their lifeline during the 2020 lockdowns. With twin toddlers and their autistic son all requiring car seats, it was able to accommodate the whole family when they escaped the house.
“We’re lucky to live close to the coast so before the car broke down we’d drive to the beach or local woodlands to give the children some space to run around,” says Sarah “especially our son who really struggles being cooped up in the house. He’s so much calmer after a long walk. So the family car wasn’t a luxury for us, it was absolutely essential as it is for a lot of people.”
When Sarah got the call from the mechanics, her heart sank.
“Where were we going to find £1,200 just like that?” says Sarah “We thought about what we could sell and I thought about working lots of extra shifts to raise the money, but I worried about how that would affect my health.”
Sarah had always saved for unexpected bills but the pot of money had been used up since her husband closed his business and they relied on her nursing wage. Sarah was put in contact with Cavell Nurses’ Trust and we were quickly able to fund the car repairs for the family. Sarah remembers the call from the charity confirming the grant,
“I was in tears!” she says “I was really taken aback as I wasn’t expecting anything. It was absolutely incredible!”
Since being reunited with their car, the impact on the family has been huge.
“Whilst the car was off the road we were confined to the house and all on top of each other,” says Sarah “We haven’t got a big house so it was a real challenge at times. Now we can go out locally as a whole family again.”
Sarah is delighted to know that nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants are being supported.
“I feel as nurses we get a raw deal – understaffed, over-worked, underpaid – so to know there is a charity out there, with people supporting it, is incredible! Often as nurses we give far more to other people’s families than we do our own, so the fact that there’s an organisation wanting to give back to us and support us is amazing.”
She has a message for anyone thinking of raising money to support nursing and midwifery staff,
“Please do it! Donating and fundraising for Cavell Nurses’ Trust will make a huge difference to people’s lives.”