Meet Our Ambassadors: Sarah
I’ve met Sarah and her wife Karine, who I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, a lot over my years I've been involved in Euan’s Guide and I look forward to meeting up with them both in person again once it’s safe to do so. For now though talking through technology is all we can do and today we’re interviewing Sarah on all the crafting she likes to do and why she loves being a Euan’s Guide Ambassador for Edinburgh.
How did you find out about Euan’s Guide and how long have you been an Ambassador?
I got involved with Euan’s Guide through volunteering with the MS Society. Tracey Harris, who was running the co-production project MS Active Together, introduced us to Ryan MacDonald. We had a meeting with Ryan and spent about 3 hours chatting in Starbucks and were sold on the idea of becoming Ambassadors. That would have been around 2017 / 2018 and we have been Ambassadors ever since.
What review would you say is your most favourite that you have written?
I always enjoy leaving reviews that feel like they will help people. Like one for a cafe we went to, we had been told by numerous people it was accessible and had an accessible toilet. So off we rolled to go and check it out. It was well spaced inside and there was an accessible toilet, however, every single person failed to mention there was a rather large step into the cafe. Back then Karine was using a scooter and could stand on her feet for about a minute so we were able to get in and check it out but leaving the review to say 'not wheelchair accessible' felt like other people wouldn’t have to go through the hassle and disappointment we felt when we first arrived at that huge step!
How have you kept busy during your time of shielding through this pandemic?
Because we live right in the centre of Edinburgh, in a very busy area we haven’t been out at all since August - unless you count my quick dashes to put the rubbish out, which I now count as my outdoor exercise. My wife Karine likes to tease me that I live for bin day at the moment. Due to this we have been trying to keep as busy as possible. We are both studying through the Open University, I’m doing Mathematics and Physics which is quite demanding and kind of keeping me out of trouble. On top of this I love crafting and woodworking, so I have been slowly making lots of new bits for the flat. Early in lockdown I built a ramp and a platform so that my wife can get out in her wheelchair onto our balcony, then I built us a unit that holds all of our extensive music collection. I’m currently building a modular unit that can house our cookbooks and Lego collection along with my vintage camera collection. I have also taken up paint by numbers as I have always wanted to be artistic but have found that I cannot draw or paint, I can however colour in the lines.
Image of: A lego set that Sarah and her wife Karine built of the Friends TV show.
When restrictions are lifted and you feel it’s safer to go out, where are you looking forward to visiting and why?
I can’t wait to be able to head outside and spend some time in the fresh air and get some sun about me. I don’t think I have ever been this pale before. Once we are allowed near people again, I can’t wait to see everyone and give them hugs. I’m a very huggy person whereas my wife is not so much. I’m really looking forward to being able to run about and play with my nephew and meet our new nephew who is due in July.
Can you please tell us something people might not know about you?
I don’t think it is a very well-hidden secret that I’m a bit of a nerd. I think one thing that people always assume is when I say I always wanted to work for NASA that I wanted to be an astronaut, I can confirm that is most definitely not the case. I get car sick if I’m not driving!
Do you have any advice to new and existing reviewers on writing a review on Euan’s Guide?
Before you go out to do a review have a think about what you might take for granted and therefore not highlight, i.e. there is a small step but your wheelchair has a step climber and therefore can get up that step. It’s all the little things that make the review that much better.
Interview with Claire D'All, Reviewer Engagement & Outreach Coordinator
Thank you Sarah for taking part in our Ambassador interview series, and stay tuned for our next one soon.