Last year, we met up with Sarah Sibbald from HCP social infrastructure. Sarah has been signed up as Child Friendly Leeds ambassadors since 2014 she and her team do lots through their work to support children in the community. Sarah’s energy and enthusiasm is remarkable; we thought it would be a great time to ask her some questions about why she chooses to support #ChildFriendlyLeeds …
Sarah’s answers to our questions and her clarity about the significance of mentoring in her life as well as her gratitude for the various people who supported her family, when she was a child, make this one of our most inspiring blogs! We hope you enjoy reading her words, as much as we did…..
Sarah, you have an amazing job, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Police Woman. I wanted to reduce crime and make people’s lives better.
Can you tell us a bit about your role in the company and what your business does?
I am the Project Director for PFI Projects across the City. I have 10 Primary schools and a Transformational housing project at Swarcliffe. I ensure that the projects are maintained and well looked after by my Facilities Management Companies, Pinnacle and Yorkshire Housing. These companies do a sterling job and are always looking at ways in which we/they can give something back to the community not just the schemes that we work in.
How did you get into your job?
I worked my way up from being an office Junior, I’ve had some fantastic female and male mentors in every role that I acquired throughout my career, they were really inspirational leaders and showed me what to aim for and how to go about doing this. Professional and personal mentors played a vital part in my success and they still do.
Why do you support Child Friendly Leeds and why are you supporting the Child Friendly Leeds fund?
As a child I grew up in a one parent family, often having little food and very little clothing. Electricity and Gas were frequently off. My mother had a number of serious issues, which were challenging for our family unit. We had various social workers and charity support workers to help us and if wasn’t for the generosity of these charities and our social worker, working extremely hard, we would have gone without the basics. My story is not unique, it is the reality for many families and children across the country. I have worked very hard to get where I am, however, I have not done this alone. I am now in a marvellous position at HCP to be able to give something back to the community and families and I have a marvellous team that can help to achieve this.
What else do you do to support children via your business?
We are part of the Beanstalk Vision for Literacy Foundation. We give our time to help young children and families learn to read and communicate better.
Since then, Sarah and her team have worked with Child Friendly Leeds on many projects including Child Poverty strategy, sponsoring the Child Friendly Leeds Awards 2019 and supporting us to make Christmas extra special for children in care and care leavers.