Before moving to the Third Sector, Sarah worked in Film and TV production in California, Sydney and London. In 1993, feeling that she should be taking a different path in life, Sarah moved to Brazil and founded Happy Child International, intent on making a difference to the lives of the nation’s street-connected children. Over 11,500 children have had their lives transformed through Happy Child International since its founding, in programmes run both in Brazil and Angola.
In 2012, after nearly two decades working in the charity sector, Sarah was honoured to be awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Following a chance meeting with a young child being exploited on the streets of Recife in 2014, Sarah was inspired to launch the It’s a Penalty Campaign to prevent abuse, exploitation and trafficking around the world. It’s a Penalty harnesses the power of sport to educate, encourage and equip people to stand up against these global scourges, know the signs and protect victims.
Since 2014, It’s a Penalty have run campaigns during eight major sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the 2016 Rio Olympics & Paralympics, and the 2018 Global Campaign at four separate events (Super Bowl LII Minneapolis, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, HBSC/Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games), the 2019 Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta and, most recently, the 2020 Super Bowl LIV in Miami. On average, each It's a Penalty Campaign impacts over 155 million people worldwide. Together with their partners, It's a Penalty has helped facilitate the protection of 16,865 victims of exploitation during their campaigns, as well as prevented thousands more from becoming victims in the first place.
Sarah’s ultimate goal is to help eradicate abuse, exploitation and trafficking by 2030, thereby contributing to the elimination of modern-day slavery and achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ Target 16.2 ‘to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, torture and all forms of violence against children’.