Sarah was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1981 and volunteered subsequently for the MS Society at branch, regional, national and international level, becoming the first Chairman with MS of the UK Society (1998-2005) and the MS International Federation (2004-2011). She has played a pivotal role speaking out for people affected by MS and giving the patient perspective. During her leadership the MS Society won a number of significant awards, including one for governance.
In April 2005 Sarah was appointed Chairman of Victim Support, the national charity supporting people affected by crime. She successfully led Victim Support through a major change from a federation of 90 local charities into a single national charity and stood down in November 2011 at the end of her two terms. She remains a local volunteer supporting victims of crime, particularly those affected by domestic violence, in her community.
Amongst other activities, Sarah served for 13 years as a non-executive director of an NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust in North Essex, where she lives.
Since coming to Demelza as chair in 2012, Sarah has established a high performing board of trustees who are deeply committed to making Demelza even more effective.
In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to disability and made a Deputy Lieutenant for Essex.