Community support helps get Sarah back on the right road
Sarah’s smile is one of the first things you notice about this young mum from Knutsford – but step back five years and you would see a very different Sarah.
Suffering with depression, extreme anxiety and feeling trapped inside her home, Sarah was struggling to look after a new baby and deal with a relationship breakdown.
She felt as though her life was in a downward spiral. Thankfully, with our support she managed to take that vital first step towards getting help and is now inspiring and helping everyone in her local community through her role as volunteer coordinator and support worker at the Welcome Community Centre, on the Longridge Estate in Knutsford.
Sarah said: “Depression isn’t simply a case of mind over matter and it’s fine to ask for help if you’re struggling. That first step is the scariest but it’s the best thing you can do to get support and start to change things for the better. “Looking after yourself has to be a priority and it’s not selfish to give yourself that help – you have to be ‘self-full’. If you’re feeling good and happy, you’re able to support your family, friends and community – but it has to start with you.”
There are community services, groups and support available in the borough, such as connected communities centres, children’s centres and libraries where you can speak to a friendly face, get information and meet people with similar interests or challenges. In many centres, there are community cafés like the Welcome Café, where you can get a bacon butty and a cup of tea – there really is something for everyone.
Sarah adds: “I am telling my story in the hope that it reaches that one person who might be sat like I was, hair in a mess, wearing pyjamas all day and trying to cope with a screaming baby. Life doesn’t have to be that way, so please find that ounce of energy to walk through the door of a local community centre, pick up the phone or go online and find someone to help you. The biggest discovery for me was that I wasn’t the only one to be feeling this way. It was a huge relief to share experiences with others.”
Sarah is going from strength to strength with many achievements, including raising a happy and healthy family, leading a ‘stronger women’ course, speaking in support of her local children’s centre at a public meeting, working towards getting on a degree course in social work and a new job.
You can view Sarah’s inspiring story on our YouTube channel and find out about services near you at: cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell or by phoning 0300 123 5500.