Cancer fighter inspires Sanders School students in Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:33 02 February 2017

Sarah Swinge speaks at the awards do. Pic: MNS-Photopic

Sarah Swinge speaks at the awards do. Pic: MNS-Photopic


A working mum who is battling cancer returned to her old secondary school to give an inspirational speech to students about the importance of hard work from an early age.

Sarah Swinge, a former student at Sanders School, in Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in 2008 which she has been battling whilst continuing to work and support her family.

The fully qualified accountant and social care trainer was invited along to be the guest speaker at the school’s annual presentation evening, held at Queen’s Theatre, on Thursday, January 26.

Despite the serious health challenges facing Sarah, who hopes to go into remission in the next few months, the mum of six advised the students to make the most of their lives and spoke fondly of her time at the school.

“I feel that doing the very best for yourself is the most powerful way to live your life,” said Sarah. “I was inspired by my education not only at Sanders but also at Scargill Primary back in the early 1970s and I still remember several teachers from both establishments with fondness and gratitude.”

Sarah’s speech tied in well with the school’s themes of ‘resilience’ and ‘be the best you can be’ for this year’s awards bash.

The deputy mayor of Havering, Cllr Linda van den Hende, was also in attendance for the evening which was hosted by Sanders’ head girl Hannah Saxon and head boy Taiwo Okutubo - who were joined on stage by Caroline and Matthew Napier who signed the event for the hearing impaired.

Headteacher, John McEachern, was full of praise for the school’s talented students - who provided the entertainment for the evening with a range of music and dance performances.

“As a community we are all exceptionally proud of our school. The wide range of awards cover achievements across all areas of school life; our students and their success epitomise our core values and school motto of ‘Aspire, Achieve, Excel’.”

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