Introducing Sarah Harvey: Care Connector

The Community Connector for Children and Families in Pembrokeshire writes for Pembrokeshire.Online…

Sarah Harvey

My name is Sarah Harvey and I am the Community Connector for Children and Families in Pembrokeshire. This role also encompasses working with young people up to the age of 25. I am employed by Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS).

I have been in Pembrokeshire for 20 years and when I arrived I started working with Mencap Cymru, with people with learning differences. I then worked on a Welsh Government flagship anti-poverty programme, doing community development in Pembroke Dock. Following that, I worked for seven years in Pembroke School/ Ysgol Harri Tudur in various roles including learning coach, pastoral officer and pupil support officer. My work experiences in Pembrokeshire led me to apply for this role as it encompasses working with children, families and young people – and also developing and supporting community activities and voluntary groups and charities.

I have two sons and two stepsons, and I hope I am aware of the challenges and joys of bringing up a family in our county.

My role is to provide information and support to families, and signpost and refer them on to services, activities, groups, and anything else they may want to find out more about. Families can be referred to me by professionals, or they can self-refer by contacting me directly. It can be a simple enquiry or it can be something that is more complex, and I can help guide people to finding the right services and solutions for them. I sit on many networks and steering groups and the object of this is to be the voice of families and young people, and ensure they are taken into consideration with any projects or programmes that are active in the county, and also to raise any issues or any gaps.

I started the role just as the first lockdown descended, so I have been working from home, and getting out to meet people and organisations when circumstances allowed. It is a hugely varied role, and I never know what I might be called on to help with, day to day.

Also I have had to adapt to take on tasks that covid dictated; for example, I helped to coordinate the community PPE that was made, distributed and delivered across the county in May/June 2020 – hundreds of pieces made, distributed and delivered by volunteers.

I sat on Milford Haven Working Together steering group – a project last November that distributed over £27,000 to community groups in Milford, to enable them to carry on their projects; and my friend and I dreamt up and coordinated the Window Wonderland Christmas community event last year, with hundreds of people decorating their windows and posting to our FB page which reached over 50,000 people.

Now the better weather is here, I have also been running Wellbeing Walks – a chance for people to come together outside, get a bit of fresh air and have a good old walk and talk.

Summer holidays are now upon us, there are numerous activities for families and children as part of the Welsh Government Summer of Fun, and many activities being run by community and voluntary groups.

For more information, you can contact me at sarah.harvey@pavs.org.uk, or call me on 07971 598121.

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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