Director Stories: Sarah shares her challenges & achievements

Welcome back to part two of Sarah’s Director stories, don’t forget to check out part one too!

Achievements when working for C-Change

Sarah says: I have become more confident by meeting and talking to people due to the social nature of my work. In the beginning I was quiet but by exposing myself to different situations I gained more confidence. For example, being sociable around our members was challenging but the more involved I got in the project the more relaxed I became. Nowadays I am not afraid to get involved in group discussions and sharing my own ideas.

Also, observing how my co-workers solved problems and coordinated our events helped me gain confidence and skills needed in hosting events. Most importantly, knowing that the people from the team are always happy to help me gave me the boost of confidence to lead events.

dates-n-mates Aberdeen Christmas party Director speech

My public speaking skills have developed a lot after starting work at C-Change and dates-n-mates. I spoke in front of as many as 150 people at the launch event for dates-n-mates Aberdeen back in 2015. I was really surprised I didn’t have a panic attack because I hadn’t done a big speech before or spoken in front of so many people. I felt so happy and proud of myself after the speech.

dates-n-mates Aberdeen launch event Director speech

After that I have done a few smaller speeches at our events, such as our anniversary and Christmas parties. Delivering speeches successfully encouraged me to say yes to doing more without hesitation. For example, now I am more than happy to deliver a PowerPoint presentation to our members at our training workshops. I would like our members to know that shyness is something you can overcome. I encourage everyone to get outside their comfort zones by trying new things whenever possible.

Challenges and enjoyment

Sometimes there are challenges in my role, and we work as a team to come up with a positive solution that works for everyone. Also, I can sometimes get overwhelmed at bigger events when it’s busy. Despite challenges, I keep going and make sure everything is running smoothly and making sure that everyone is happy and enjoying themselves.

What I enjoy the most is getting members together, creating a bond with them and having interesting conversations. I enjoy being focused on the member’s needs and finding out what kind of help and support they need. Having a laugh and putting a smile on their face is great! Also, I am always very happy to get recognition for the work I am doing at dates-n-mates, both from the members and from C-Change. I have received a Pride of C-Change award and a rising star award and a lot of positive feedback from the members.

Dates-n-mates Aberdeen - Director with learning disability and autism recieves award

Looking ahead

In the future I would like to spread more awareness of Learning Disabilities and Autism by sharing my story more. Also, I would like to develop even more training workshops for our members and lead bigger events.

We will be sharing more Director and member stories on the website over the coming months. Thank you very much to our volunteer Elena for assisting Sarah with this story by interviewing her. 


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Dates-n-Mates is Scotland’s national dating and friendship charity run by and for adults with learning disabilities.

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