It all started when Sarah got a call from an old police colleague, Nick Inge. He explained he and his business partner, Trevel Henry, were launching ‘Worldly Wise’, an organisation aimed at equipping and preparing young people for their future – and they needed someone to write the biographies for their website.
She was only too happy to help – little did she know that she would eventually become part of the team!
Worldly Wise is a collective of experts in different fields, from different backgrounds, upbringings, countries, industries and careers, who bring with them a wealth of experiences.
Most have overcome challenges and this is the key to why they are a great match for Worldly Wise – to inspire young people to forge ahead!
As members of the Worldly Wise ‘bio bank’ they work to advise and inspire young people and help them achieve their goals. This is done through working with individuals, schools, colleges and clubs as well as via specialist courses in travel, mental health, finance and football.
Members of the bio bank can be chosen by the client to talk with their students or group, send questions in advance, and just gain from their knowledge.
Worldly Wise’s travel arm has been endorsed and supported by travel journalist Simon Calder, who, in his short film for Worldly Wise, talks about the amazing opportunities, growth and scope that travel offers to everyone, but especially the young.
How it all began
What started as drafting the first phase of 21 biographies, soon snowballed into Izzy PR project managing the whole website to push it on and take it live.
The more we worked with them, the more Sarah liked what she found – and when she joked about becoming ‘Number 22’, she was taken up on it!
Sarah says: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get and I just loved the ethos behind all they are aiming to do.
“In school, I was told by the careers teacher at 16 that journalism was a man’s world and that I really ought to think of something else.
“I remember saying to my mum that if I couldn’t write in life, I couldn’t do anything else – it’s what I was good at, looked forward to and always wanted to do. For me, I was never going to run out of ideas to use, words to put together, sentence structure to play around with – and that was very exciting to me! A bit like a scientist with a melting pot!
“I didn’t look back and five years after that, I sent that teacher my first front page with a sticky note on the front saying ‘It turns out it isn’t a man’s world’.”
Sarah now joins monthly meetings with the group, regular chats with the founders and is looking forward to writing more biographies as ‘Phase 2’ gets under way.
Since the launch, many more people have been in touch offering to come on board.
As a member of the team, Sarah’s role is to help young people understand the many different routes into journalism, PR and marketing and the opportunities within the industry, with or without qualifications.
She says: “As long as you can write well, read a lot, and are a good communicator and team player, you already have some of what’s needed to join this industry.”
Sarah’s own career has been fairly traditional, starting in journalism then veering into PR.
She started out as a journalist at the Kent Messenger Group, covering North Kent and Medway, before moving into her first PR role with Kent Police.
After maternity leave and redundancy were over, she then joined a creative agency, Pillory Barn in Maidstone, where she met Miranda Chapman – a woman and fantastic mentor who instilled in here that one day, she would have her own business and be running an agency too.
She was right, although in those heady days of a new baby and trying to be on the ball for work, it seemed like a distant thought but Miranda, without Sarah realising at the time, set her gently on the path.
She then returned to journalism, first writing news stories for Essex Police’s online news reel, then later at BBC Radio Kent. PR work for a charity and the NHS completed the CV before she took the plunge into self-employment to launch Izzy PR.
Throughout all of this, she encountered two near death experiences – meningitis at university which left her on a life support machine and later, a traumatic birth which involved a huge blood loss; which luckily, four transfusions fixed! PTSD from the trauma and Post Natal Depression followed – but Sarah was always a career girl and found a way through it all to be where she is now.
She said: “I want to give younger people interested in entering my industry, the benefit of my experiences, the skills I’ve learnt, and the challenges I’ve overcome, because although their path won’t be carved exactly the same as mine, there is an Indiana Jones-style map that you can follow!”
The other experts in the biobank all specialise in different areas – healthcare, immigration, sport, film making and the prison service to name a few – and each has an inspiring story to tell about how they got to where they are today.
“I’m excited to be a part of Worldly Wise and to see the impact we can have helping young people develop and achieve.”
Do you know a young person or individual who could benefit from Worldly Wise’s help? Why not take a look at the website and see what they can offer?