Introducing Sarah, our newest Health Check Practitioner

Sarah joined our team in January, meaning we were able to offer more Health Checks across the County. We thought it was time to introduce her properly, so we interviewed her (via Zoom of course).

Katie: Where did you grow up?
Sarah: I was born in Shepperton, Middlesex, but moved to a very rural village in North Devon at the age of 4. I learned lots of crafts as a child as we didn’t have a TV. My primary school was tiny, I was the only person in my year! Senior school was a long bus ride away to the Victorian town of Ilfracombe.

Katie: What were your favourite subjects at school?
Sarah: I liked Maths and Art, primarily as those subjects were taught by inspirational teachers.

Katie: What were some of your childhood hobbies?
Sarah: Whilst listening to the radio, I would knit, crochet, sew, tat, make candles, cook, fashion macramé, fold origami, make candles, basket weave, do jigsaws, play cards, monopoly, and scrabble.

Katie: What hobbies have kept you busy during the lockdown?
Sarah: I am enjoying having the time to tend to my garden, I feel fortunate to have the outside space. I continue with my crafts, but with a focus on drawing and I have just learned how to make netting. I also get out for a cycle ride and canal walks. Scrabble remains a constant, although these days it is on an app on my phone rather than a board and bag of tiles where you need someone with you to play. I am currently a bit addicted to Sudoku. Overall, I like learning new things which pique my interest and the internet is full of ideas should I run out!

Katie: What have you been cooking during lockdown?
Sarah: I like to cook fajitas or turn them into an indulgent treat by topping with a little tomato puree and plastering in cheese then baking. I have found myself baking lemon drizzle cake and Bakewell tart (once I could purchase flour of course!). I am looking forward to a meal being cooked for me at some point when normality returns.

Katie: What helps you get through lockdown?
Sarah: My garden has been a big focus: watching the early blooming azaleas splashing their colour, the beach hedge transforming from brown to a fresh and luxurious green, the foxgloves standing in their splendour whether in the sun or shade. Planting seeds and seeing their tiny cotyledons aiming for the bright light – they give me hope. Yesterday a fledgling landed in my neighbour’s garden, wandered noisily into mine and finally out into the car park. Intermittent attempts at flight looked promising. Prior to heading for the hedge, he had a rest away from the hot tarmac on my neighbour’s shoe! That and seeing and hearing lots of bees on my chive flowers whilst sitting and having a cuppa makes the world seem right. Of course, the passage of lockdown is aided with humour.

Katie: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Sarah: I have spent a few long holidays in Sri Lanka. My only real travel desire now is to Alaska. But first I will prioritise the beauty on my doorstep.

Katie: Where did you work before this?
Sarah: I’ve had various jobs, supporting myself since the age of 16. I was a milk lady, garage shop manager, stock controller at a supermarket and business support for an electricity company and more recently I worked in hospital theatres. I would have been a forensic scientist or a marine biologist if I had my time again.

Katie: What led you to join the NHS Health Checks team?
Sarah: I moved to Somerset in 2004 when my daughter was a young teenager. A few years later I completed my degree with the Open University and then worked for Somerset County Council in various roles: Recruitment Administration, Strategic Planning, delivering training to childcare settings and Senior Business Support. It was then that I saw the job role advertised.

Katie: How long have you worked with the Somerset NHS Health Checks team?
Sarah: I joined Thrive Tribe in January 2020. I love my job meeting, engaging and positively supporting people from all walks of life across the county. I’m very much looking forward to continuing this once we can.