Sarah Chapman, Coventry & Warwickshire Children’s Rights Service
Sarah became an Independent Visitor in 2017 and have been matched to S, who has a range of challenges including learning, social and emotional difficulties, for just over 3 years. S’s foster mother says that “Sarah is always there for S, winning over her trust and giving her the stability she needs”. Sarah has encouraged S to get involved with Girl Guiding, an activity that her foster mother thought S would not be able to engage with due to her difficulties.
While applying to be an IV, Sarah volunteered to become a Barnardo’s Supported Lodgings Host, caring for and accommodating Chloe, a 17-year-old care leaver. Chloe said that Sarah went out of her way to make her feel at home, which was different to what she had experienced before. Sarah has also taken the time to give support and advice to others who have been approved as Hosts for the service. Sarah and Chloe shared their experiences on BBC Breakfast, raising awareness about the scheme and encouraging others to volunteer to become hosts. Sarah has also appeared on national radio, television and newspapers, advocating the scheme as an option for young people on their journey to live independently.
This year’s Regional Winners are:
• Northern England – Frankie Wood
• Wales – Tanya Chowdhury
• Northern Ireland – Rasa Dimparte
• South East – Genevive Pentlow