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Sarah U

Sarah U

Name: Sarah Underdown
Age: 23
Year of the Fix: 2014
Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Campaign: To show unemployed young people the benefits of work experience

I have experienced unemployment. 


I was out of work for such a long time that I began to feel depressed, worthless and unmotivated.


Eventually, the job centre recommended that I enrol in a confidence boosting course that would take twelve weeks.


Since taking this course, my life has completely changed. I began doing voluntary work and gained vital work experience to aid me in my job search.


I am now working full-time at a children’s residential home, taking part in an apprenticeship program at Southend Adult College, and studying a Level 3 Diploma in Children & Young People’s Workforce.


I want to share my experiences with other out-of-work young people to encourage them not to give up hope in their job searches and show them the benefits of volunteering and training courses.


I want to see other young jobseekers gain confidence in their abilities and not be set back by long-term unemployment.

Here is a list of Fixers helping me with this Fix:


Abigail English Bethany Campbell
Charlie Battern Damien King
Diellza Karaqica Joanna Jowers
Kieran Hurrell Liam Stevens
Matthew Garwood Michael Camacho
Ryan Day Shanley Noonan
Tallia Jay Thomas Hooke


Anthony King, South East and Central Mind

Anthony King appeared in my broadcast piece to support my campaign.


Nye Cominetti, The Work Foundation

Nye was interviewed in my broadcast to discuss the links between mental health and long-term unemployment.


Southend Association of Voluntary Services
SAVS helped me with my Fix by providing a space to film parts of the broadcast story about my campaign.

April 2015

My Fixers leaflet was launched at Suffolk New College. Some of the students requested copies of my resource and I received the following feedback:  

Mr Andy Shemming, Tutor:

'What a brilliant idea to try to get young people into employment. Volunteering is something that they could all benefit from as it gives them experience, confidence in the employment world and new skills. What an inspirational young lady to have come up with this.'


Sam Leary, Student:

'I've never considered volunteering because you don't get paid for it, but this leaflet actually shows you a different side. If I found myself unemployed I'd definitely consider volunteering if it meant I'd improve my experience and possibly get a job at the end of it.' 


Curtis Hall, Student:

'I think this is really educational and it's changed my opinion of volunteer work. I'll give one to my sister as she would find this useful.'


March 2014

Since my broadcast piece was aired on TV, I've had some really positive comments from people who are supportive of my Fixers campaign. You can read some of this feedback below:


'Bless you Sarah and keep up the great work!'


'Well done Sarah, you should be very proud of what you have achieved and what a positive role model you are to others!'


'Well done Sarah, you really are inspirational, keep going!'


'What a brave lady.'


'Well done for speaking out. My son is 21 and feels worthless filling out applications, and the firms don't even have the dignity to acknowledge them.'


'Well done Sarah! Let's hope you give just one more person the inspiration to get out there and do as well as you have.'


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