Sarah Fear

European Social Fund Regional Awards
South West

Single mother Sarah is profoundly deaf and had been unemployed for over 18 years. She had lost confidence and found it difficult to do even simple tasks without support.

After approaching Maximus Employment and Training, she was encouraged to think about voluntary work. They helped her find a voluntary role at Bournemouth Hospital working alongside the ward clerk. Sarah’s confidence grew as her hard work was appreciated. Given regular practice with lip reading and speech, she found she could communicate very well with patients and staff. Her learning was part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Confident enough to start applying for jobs, she gained temporary work with Marks & Spencer, and now has a permanent job there. Dealing with customers and staff increasingly helps her to overcome communication barriers. As well as working part-time, Sarah still volunteers at the hospital. “Getting to where I am today has been a bit of a journey as I’d lost confidence and didn’t think I’d ever be able to do anything,” she says. “But with encouragement I’ve come through.”

Award Winner - Sarah Fear
“Getting to where I am today has been a bit of a journey as I’d lost confidence and didn’t think I’d ever be able to do anything. But with encouragement I’ve come through.”
Sarah Fear, 2011 Award Winner