A Cup of Tea With: Sarah Foraud, our Personal Development Coordinator

Two Sides; The Visit - Tea - Lizzie Coombes

In September we welcomed Sarah Foraud to the team as our Personal Development Coordinator. Why not sit down with a nice cup of tea and get to know her? 

ITT: Can you tell us a bit about what your role as Personal Development Coordinator involves?

Sarah Foraud: My role involves supporting participants working with the Irene Taylor Trust in any way I can, mentoring and personally supporting them as required both during their time spent with us and afterwards. This support is broad as I may be assisting them with day to day issues and/or in finding training, employment and other opportunities in their efforts to go in the life directions they want to.

ITT: What motivates you about working for ITT? What sort of changes do you see in the people taking part in our projects?

SF: What motivates me is seeing the positive growth, and the happiness that is derived from that, within those who work with us. I am continually impressed with the characteristics I see – I am not just referring solely to musical talent, but to the ability to overcome fear, gain confidence and resilience that I witness, especially in times of challenge. I am not creative musically and have a real appreciation for those who are and never fail to be amazed as to how those who work with us can effectively start with ‘nothing’ at the beginning of a week, and then suddenly by Thursday I am listening to a whole repertoire. During this time, it is a thrill to see people coming together, building friendships, getting a real sense of achievement and expanding their natural abilities until they reach a place of personal fulfilment and happiness.

Sarah PDCITT: Can you tell us a bit about your background and ‘life before ITT’?

SF: I love animals and spent many years working with them in various ways, such as veterinary nursing and working as a zookeeper before setting up an animal welfare department for a local authority. I later worked with colleagues and residents to enhance the natural environment and green spaces doing things such as assisting with the management of parks and open spaces, supporting a nature conservation section and running a tree management department.   I also trained in the area of personal development and am a positive psychologist.

ITT: Have there been any standout moments during your time with ITT so far?

SF: The two stand out moments that come to mind was watching some of our Sounding Out participants performing at the Southbank Centre and the Young Producers ‘Spirit of Utopia’ event which took place at the Old Church in Stoke Newington. It was lovely to see all the hard work that had been put in resulting in two wonderful performances and watching the joy on the faces of those taking part when their efforts were so enthusiastically appreciated was a memory I will always cherish.


ITT: How important is music to you? Is there a piece of music or song that has particularly inspired you? Or a song you love dancing to when no one’s watching?!

SF: My mum was into drama so as children we watched all the musicals and as the 1950s was her era she taught my brother and I to jive (don’t ask me to do that now!) so I gained an appreciation of music early on. I have very eclectic taste and have been inspired by many pieces. I love music that encourages the imagination, is ‘different’ and uses lyrics that are thought provoking. The artist I love the most who does this is Kate Bush, who has used the sound of helicopters, breaking glass and donkeys braying in her music – it doesn’t get much more different than that! I would pretty much dance to anything but if there is one song bound to get me leaping from my seat it is Mr Brightside by The Killers.

ITT: What do you like to get up to in your spare time?

SF: I really like to create; I paint with water colours and acrylics (mostly wildlife) and do various crafts such as tile making and crocheting. I enjoy all forms of the arts and enjoy going to museums (I love history) and the theatre – I am a particular fan of the Globe as I love Shakespeare. I enjoy reading, listening to music and going for long walks in the countryside.

ITT: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Did you take it?!

SF: One of the many pearls of wisdom my Gran gave me when I was growing up was ‘those who forget the past are made to relive it in the future’ – and this has proven to be consistently true! Being a Disney fan, I learned early on from Jiminy Cricket to ‘always let your conscience be your guide’ and I continue to be an advocate of that.

ITT: Thanks Sarah!

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