Throughout childhood Sarah – one of the Needham Quintuplets - cared for her ill mother and education took second place. On leaving school, Sarah looked after her mother full-time and joined Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale’s Young Carers’ Project which helped her to consider her own future.
She decided to volunteer with the group and developed a real passion for helping others, so she began volunteering for other organisations looking after children and young people. Sarah soon realised she’d like a career working with young people, but thought it was impossible as she lacked qualifications. However, she was accepted onto a degree course in Active Citizenship and Volunteer Development at University of Central Lancashire – which requiredno academic background, but a passion for volunteering – and is now in her third year, having also been awarded the University’s Community Hero Award 2009. Sarah said, “It has completely changed my life. It has seriously helped boost my self-confidence and self-esteem... I have been able to continue working on what I feel so passionate about as well as gaining a qualification.” Nominator Yasmeen ended, “Sarah believes volunteering is her key to gaining skills, knowledge and confidence.”