Meet Sarah – Faithworks and SMILE Lone Parent Families

Published on 30 May, 2024

Following a career in nursing, Sarah Gardner has been putting her extensive skills to use through volunteering with Faithworks, a local Christian charity in Dorset. Sarah says:

“I evolved over the years in nursing, building relationships and helping those in difficult situations. Volunteering continues to give me a sense of purpose. My faith motivated me to get involved with the SMILE Families, a group supporting lone parents and carers of children.

Having raised a family on my own, I understand the isolation. Being able to listen to someone’s worries can make a huge difference. The group includes people from various backgrounds; volunteers often have similar experiences. This shared experience helps build trust and support, especially for those facing difficult situations.

We support families through different stages. Our weekly walking group in Poole is great for natural conversations, and our coffee morning on Fridays at Longfleet Baptist Church is popular. We also arrange diverse activities, like a watersports day in September, which allows parents to experience new things and take a break from their responsibilities.

For anyone thinking of volunteering, please give it a try. Whether you want to use your existing skills or gain new experiences, there’s a role that will connect with you. Don’t give up after the first try; there’s a place where you can make a meaningful impact”.

Interested in volunteering with SMILE Lone Parent Families or other roles with Faithworks? Contact Claire at Faithworks on 01202 429 037 or visit

For all other volunteering opportunities in Bournemouth, Christchurch, or Poole, email or visit