Sharon first became involved with Epiphany Trust in 2004 when she was introduced to Bill Hampson (Director and founder of Epiphany Trust) on a big band tour to Romania with Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. At the time she was studying a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Manchester. In early 2005 she met with Bill to discuss volunteering opportunities and after graduating in July 2005, Sharon flew to Romania in the August to help establish Epiphany’s new project ‘The Arc’ in Sinaia, Prahava Valley, which was set up to support young adults with learning disabilities who had previously grown up in the orphanage in Lugoj, Timisoara. Sharon returned to England the following July and worked for a brief spell in the Epiphany office before embarking upon a postgraduate course to train as a teacher.
In large due to her experiences in Romania, Sharon decided to go into special education and work with children with severe and profound learning disabilities. In her first teaching post at Chatsworth High School in Salford, she taught her specialist subjects of Music and Drama and became an established Arts Award Advisor. Sharon developed a specific interest in Autism and took her next post in the same school as a teacher of students with Autism. Sharon moved to Piper Hill Specialist Support School, Manchester in 2011 accepting the post of ‘Assistant Headteacher’ where she was responsible for leading the Key Stage 3 department, transition, the Arts, and teaching the full range of National Curriculum subjects. Alongside her teaching job, Sharon studied a Masters Degree in Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education and graduated with distinction in 2012.
Sharon remained a friend and volunteer of Epiphany Trust, and visited Romania once or twice every year. She was also supported by Epiphany Trust to become a member of the International Young Leaders Network, established to identify and train young and emerging leaders. Sharon and husband Martin spent the summer of 2011 in Sri Lanka, where they worked as volunteers in the street centre in Kandy. In April 2014, 10 years after first becoming involved with Epiphany Trust, Sharon resigned from her teaching role and was appointed as Deputy Director of the Trust. Sharon and Martin live in Lancashire with their two children.
Sharon is a director of Chrysalis Holidays, a not for profit company running themed and educational holidays for adults with learning disabilities in the UK. She is also President of Epiphany Association, a not for profit organisation in Romania.