Contributor

Sarah Robertson

A mother, youth & community worker, assessor, tutor, coach, mentor & entrepreneur passionate about supporting young people & young adults

I grew up as 1 of 4 siblings, to a single mother and was raised in a deprived and disadvantaged community. I faced many challenges and much discrimination, from racism and poverty to sexism and isolation. However, I still left school with 9 GCSE’s despite poor attendance. By age 21, I had built a solid background in the shipping and logistics industry, specifically deepsea imports, working with large corporate organisations and VIP’S. I then fell pregnant and had to make a choice between my career and starting a family. I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy. Unfortunately my relationship did not work out and I became a single mother. I have never been particularly maternal and after a few years of being a stay at home mum I was feeling isolated and needed more. That is when I found my vocation in youth and community work. It was not intentional to be honest. I started an IT course in a local community centre to alleviate the boredom and monotony I was feeling. I then started to volunteer a few hours a week in the community centre, whenever I could get childcare. Before long I was managing the reception area and coming into contact with the diverse members of my community and becoming aware of the diverse range of issues they were facing. On becoming a mother I wanted a more rewarding career and started to think about my children’s future so I enrolled in a college course. I successfully completed an Access to Youth, Community & Social Work programme. A family friend then offered me a few more hours of voluntary work in a youth centre (I will be eternally grateful for this!). That is where I developed my passion for youth work and I have never looked back. I have since put myself through university twice and have a degree in Psychology with Criminology and a degree in Informal Education, the first in my family to do so. I have worked in the statutory and voluntary sector and am the Founder and Managing Director of Future M.O.L.D.S Communities, a youth and community group run by local people, for local people. My son is now 16 years old and I have an 8 year old daughter too. He wants to be a footballer (He’s actually very good) and she wants to be a school teacher. I think I have done quite a good job with them on my own. I still live in a deprived and disadvantaged community but now I can give something back. I can actually try to support other people like myself who needed a little help growing up or even a little help when we’re grown. We may be a small group but we see big changes in the people we work with and unfortunately the demand for help and support is growing as systems fail our vulnerable communities. Having sustained our work for 6 years so far we hope to be able to continue to support the community we live in for as long as they need our help. I know my future will not be easy and far from perfect but it will be interesting and character building.

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