Life can be unpredictable, with moments of joy and sorrow intertwining in ways we could never imagine. My name is Sarah, and my journey over the past few years has taught me the power of embracing change, even when it seems impossible. I’d like to share my story of how I stepped back, started anew, and ultimately found my way back to where it all began, with Making Changes NE.
A few years ago, my life took an unexpected turn. A dear friend and neighbor, someone I had shared countless conversations and laughs with, succumbed to the darkness of suicide. It was a devastating blow that echoed through our community, revealing a painful reality that too many were facing in our area. The weight of loss was unbearable, and I found myself questioning how such tragedies could still be occurring amidst the lives we were leading.
As the days turned into nights and the grief threatened to consume me, a seed of determination began to take root within me. I couldn’t simply stand by and watch more lives fall victim to the same fate. I wanted to channel my pain into something positive, to make an immediate impact on the lives of those struggling around me.
A New Beginning: Founding Ourlives.Gateshead CIC
Driven by a burning desire to improve my community’s well being and challenge the negative cycles within the area, I took a step back from my role at Making Changes NE and embarked on a new journey. By the following September I Founded Ourlives.Gateshead C.I.C, an organization dedicated to improving the area’s well being as well as providing immediate support and resources to anyone who needs it while growing pride within our community in Highfield.
The path wasn’t easy. Building an organization from scratch demanded dedication, resilience, and a deep belief in the cause. But the stories of hope and healing that emerged from our efforts made every challenge worthwhile. With the help of a compassionate team and a community that rallied behind our mission, we began to see lives transformed through the power of action, understanding, empathy, and genuine connection.
A Reunion of Goals: Returning to Making Changes NE
As time passed and Ourlives.Gateshead CIC grew, a new realization dawned on me. The very essence of my journey had been rooted in collaboration, unity, and a shared vision for change. It was a natural progression for my path to intersect once again with Making Changes NE, an organization that had been a significant part of my life. This would allow me the time, energy and space to focus on projects that are close to my heart, as well as to the community as I would no longer be wearing too many hats to count.
With a heart full of gratitude for the lessons learned and the experiences gained, I’ve decided to close down Ourlives.Gateshead C.I.C and become a full time Director at Making Changes NE. The skills, insights, and connections forged during my time with Ourlives.Gateshead CIC, will undoubtedly enrich my contributions to the organization. Together, we can create an even more profound impact on our goals to combat loneliness and isolation, and improve well being.
My journey from grief to action, from stepping back to stepping forward, has taught me that change is not something to be feared, but rather embraced as a catalyst for hope. As I continue to navigate the ever-evolving path of life, I carry with me the memory of my friend and neighbor, the driving force behind my determination to make a difference.
Through Ourlives.Gateshead CIC, and now, my renewed commitment to Making Changes NE, I’ve come to realize that change isn’t just a series of events; it’s a mindset, a journey, and a testament to the strength of the human spirit. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me next, as I work alongside incredible individuals who share the same passion for positive change that ignited my own path.
In the end, it’s not just about what we do, but the lives we touch and the impact we leave behind. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.