South Shields woman praises ‘life changing’ support from charity which helped her turn her life around

A woman with impaired hearing is set to help other young people facing the same challenges, after support from a charity ‘changed her life’.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 1:32 pm

Sarah Brown, from South Shields, says she was depressed and isolated before getting involved with an innovative programme which helped her turn things around.

The 26-year-old, who could only communicate through lip reading, has been a passionate advocate for disability rights, but after a bereavement found herself in a downward spiral.

Now she is on her way to a career helping other children and young people with hearing impairments thanks to the National Ambassador Programme led by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group.

Sarah Brown with her National Ambassador Award.

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“Before I joined the programme I was depressed. I had no confidence and low self esteem and felt like I was stuck in a negative cycle getting nowhere,” said Sarah.

“My life has changed for the better since taking part in the programme. I regained my confidence, my self esteem has improved and I am now able to travel independently. It is a life changer and I loved every minute of it.”

The National Ambassador Programme aims to engage with young social housing residents, to provide learning and development opportunities and supports them to deliver social action projects within their communities.

As a National Ambassador, Sarah completed a level 1 qualification in British Sign Language and is now enrolled in a classroom assistant training course.

Sarah Brown (centre) with Michelle Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer of Clarion Housing Group (left) and Sue Killen, Chair of Clarion Futures (right).

She added: “Thanks to Clarion, I’ve been able to fulfil my potential, learning new skills and building my confidence so that I’ve been able to move closer to achieving my dream of working with hearing impaired children and young people.”

Tanesha Johnson, Youth Engagement Officer for Clarion Futures, said: “Sarah took a huge step out of her comfort zone to become an ambassador and her achievements as a National Ambassador in the last year have been remarkable. She has become a real advocate for the rights of deaf people and has helped her peers on the programme improve their awareness and understanding – something she’s immensely proud of.

“Sarah undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of her.”