I submitted written evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC) inquiry to explore children and young people’s relationships with the police.
The APPGC published its final report on 28 October 2014. It sets out a range of recommendations, which my evidence fed into, to provide a clear framework for strengthening police practice in relation to children and young people.
My story was shown on ITV News West Country as part of a campaign to tackle drink related crime. Local supermarkets have been asked to join in talks regarding the low price of alcohol - a campaign called for by Tony Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, who is supportive of my project. You can watch the full piece by clicking here.
The MP for Plymouth Moor View, Alison Seabeck, has heard about my project and has described my story as ‘interesting’ and ‘encouraging.’
She mentioned my case as an example at a recent meeting she attended about raising awareness of, and tackling, alcohol misuse.
“I hear difficult stories from my constituents every day but stories like Sarah’s are incredibly moving and inspiring. I don’t think anybody can remotely imagine the strength, patience and willpower it takes to change your life around like Sarah did. If you combine the words alcoholism, crime, rehab and fresh start, it sounds like a pretty straightforward path. I am sure Sarah will tell anyone that it is the hardest thing she has ever done but also the best thing. Well done Sarah for being so strong for yourself and others. I am sure some of my constituents will be inspired by your story.”
Tony Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is so impressed with my project, that he's asked his PCC Team to try to build their alcohol strategy around my experiences! Here's what he had to say:
'Sarah speaks with immense wisdom and clarity on the most difficult of personal challenges. I hope very much to be working with Sarah, to project her achievements in my work and to benefit others. I wish her every strength for the future - through her courage and talks she is changing lives.'
My campaign was also featured in the Plymouth Herald. Click here to read the full article.
I held screenings of my film audiences that included the Lord Mayor of Plymouth Vivien Pengelly, local Councillors, alcohol support services and the Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner among other important organisations.
Below is some of the encouraging and positive feedback I have received from participants.
Kathy Parker, Harbour Drug & Alcohol Services:
'Powerful, thought provoking film Sarah. Thank you. I really hope you manage to continue to get your message across to young people and politicians, and everyone else.'
Rachel Harvie, Trevi:
'Great work - really courageous! Going to take this back to the team!'
Rebecca Knight, YSMART:
'Really powerful story. I hope you are successful in your journey and in drawing attention to the problems you have highlighted and achieve better funding.'
Kathy Barrett, Plymouth Foodbank:
'Great film which gets the point across on such a personal level. Fixers seems a great charity that helps young people have a voice.'
Ellie Lavelle, Youth Cabinet:
'It's far too easy to get drink under age, and also too easy to get into nightclubs when you're under 18. There should be more people like Sarah talking to young people. She was a great speaker.'
Patrick Burnitt, Prince's Trust:
'Powerful presentation. I was impressed with the speeches that took place and the issues that arose.'
On Facebook, my campaign is also generating some great feedback:
'Well done. Not only are you sorting yourself out, you're helping others as well. Well done.'
'Well done Sarah, well done for getting back on track. Good video!'
'Well done you!'
On 12th August, I met with Oliver Colvile MP to discuss my Fixers project and show him my film ‘Drink, Drank, Drunk’. After hearing about my campaign and seeing my film, he has promised to send several letters to local teams to inform them of the issues I am concerned about in Plymouth with regards to alcohol misuse and youth offending.
To read what he has to say about my Fixers campaign, click on my 'Supporters' tab.