In 1993, Sam pursued her love of literature and writing, and graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in English with Education from Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey. She had various interesting student-teacher placements at Primary and Special Needs schools, in Essex and London, as well as at a Pupil referral Unit, in Hammersmith, for 11-16 years olds with learning and behavioural difficulties.
After graduation Sam worked as a Learning Resources Assistant at Colchester Institute, helping students prepare for university. She also volunteered at a local charity, “Signpost”, writing C.V.s and offering careers advice to the unemployed.
Following an eight-month trip around the world, and a diagnosis of M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Sam had to give up work, but still managed to fulfil her long-held ambition to become a Samaritan.
Sam became a Listening Volunteer, Leader, Mentor, and then Deputy Director (Publicity and Outreach), for Ipswich & East Suffolk Samaritans. Trained in the art of Active Listening, she supported callers of all ages in emotional distress, and was responsible for mentoring new volunteers. In her Outreach role she gave talks, and Q&A sessions, to local prisons, the Women’s Institute, Suffolk College Freshers Fairs, Ipswich Music Days as well as many other local events and represented Samaritans several times on BBC Radio Suffolk, and other local radio shows.
Having experienced mental health issues in the past Sam is acutely aware of the difficulties that student life, and post teen years can present, and the resilience and determination that is needed to succeed throughout life.
As a parent, she is full of admiration for the incredible students and staff of CTC and is extremely excited to be able to offer vital wellbeing support to them throughout their time at the Foundation College.
Since June 2021, Sam has also taken on the role of Peer Support Worker for NSFT (Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust), in the Older people's mental health team.