The Heart of Bucks ‘Inspiring Buckinghamshire’ series gives local people from a range of sectors a chance to share their knowledge and insights to help inspire others.
Here we are speaking with Sandra Ewers, Medical Secretary at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Tell us about yourself and your connection to Buckinghamshire
I am born and bred in Buckinghamshire to parents from the Caribbean who came here in the 1960s and I am 1960s child and have lived in the picturesque town of Aylesbury all my life.
I’ve had a varied career over the years, from Medical Secretary and Personal Assistant roles, working in London for many years, to working in local schools whilst my children were young, as a Cover Teacher and Teaching Assistant. I am currently working as a Medical Secretary at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I also had my own radio show for a year and am now presenting. My passion is keeping fit, reading – I’ve got ten books lined up, family life and playing the ukulele (albeit I’m a little rusty).
What personal achievements are you most proud of?
Throughout 2020, I studied to be a Level 3 Personal Trainer. If someone could have told me five years ago I would be a Personal Trainer or be giving talks about type two diabetes on local radio or in the community, I would not have believed them.
I have to tell you about my two amazing children who over the years have made me very proud, having worked hard at school, then going on to university and who are both on their own positive journey in life.
What are some of the challenges you have faced, and how have you overcome them?
I have faced many challenges, in particular a health challenge, being diagnosed with type two diabetes in 2017 and having to make a complete lifestyle change. It took resilience and sheer determination to get back on track. I am very grateful to my husband Robert, children Sasha, and Zack for their support with this. I also raise awareness about type two diabetes in the community and it is good to give something back and support charities such as DiabetesUK.
Being a confident woman of colour has made me more determined in everyday challenges. I try to aim high in everything I do and feel empowered now more than ever.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The advice I have been given has varied, but one of the best bits of advice that really sticks out for me is “be yourself”. This has always resonated with me and I believe that people need to be accepting of who you are and you must never try to change who you are.
What is your greatest hope for the future for Buckinghamshire?
The past year has been a testing time for us all and my thoughts are with families and friends we have lost along the way. My hope for the future for Buckinghamshire is that we will see a much greener environment and less throwaway society and that we learn to appreciate what we have. It is a time where we need to value the simpler things.
I would also hope that people learn to support each other and are kinder to each other and that we help others in need, supporting local charities where possible.