Councillor Sandra Barr - Biography
About Councillor Sandra Barr
Sandra was born in Hampstead in London and moved to Royston as a small child. Leaving school to train as a hairstylist and on marrying moved to Stevenage to give her family better opportunities in life. She lived in Bedwell and Broadwater, before settling in St Nicholas, when the estate was new. She is blessed with three wonderful children and a lovely Granddaughter.
Sandra is extremely proud of the Town she lives in. She has watched Stevenage grow, mature and thrive. In order to give something back, for the past forty years she has served her community in many ways, being a voluntary school governor in different schools in the town. In particular, she has been proud to be Chair of Trustees of Larwood Academy Trust for the last 37 years. Larwood is a special school for children with complex Social, Emotional and Mental Health Issues.
She served on the steering committee for St. John’s day care centre in Chells Way. This centre ensures that there is a facility for stroke victims and people with diagnosed Neurological disorders, who need support and therapy.
Sandra was on the committee for user improvements at Leyden House Day Care Centre for adults with learning disabilities, as her own son is severely disabled. Additionally she served on the management committee of the now, sadly defunct, opportunity class for disabled children.
When Sandra was in her forties she joined the Open University and studied for a B.Sc in social science with social policy graduating with Hons, a proud moment for a girl who left school at 15 without any qualifications. She left hairdressing to work in retail banking, thus proving that self-improvement and education can be accessed and achieved at any time if you want it badly enough, it’s never too late to learn.
Sandra is proud to be an elected Stevenage Borough Councillor for her own home area, St Nicholas ward. She is also an advisor for St. Nicholas Community Association.
One of Sandra’s great passions is to nurture and encourage the talents of Children in the Arts, especially in the genre of dance, with her family qualifying for the festival for All England Dance competitions in the past. Sandra was proud when Stevenage was chosen to host the semi-finals at the Gordon Craig Theatre of the All England Dance Championships.
Sandra is so looking forward to her year in office as Mayor and feels super privileged to do so. She cannot wait to meet people in her new role and represent the people of the town that she loves and is proud of.
The Mayor will be supporting three Charities
- Larwood Academy School Outreach Programme
- Stevenage Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities
- Stevenage Festival of Dance
Larwood Academy School Outreach Programme
Larwood Primary School aims to provide a nurturing environment for children with social, emotional and mental health related issues. We also have pupils with autistic spectrum condition, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosed as part of their special educational needs. Great emphasis is placed upon staff/pupil relationships with small classes (below 10) and teachers being supported by Learning Support Assistants, to get the very best out of all of our children. As the school is named after the great English bowler Harold Larwood, great emphasis is placed upon hard work, attitude to learning, being a member of a team and trying things which may be different.
Positive reinforcement via our reward system of points is at the heart of our school ethos. Trips, notes home, medals, certificates and raffle prizes help our children to make changes and work within a structure of rules and systems that promote progression and achievement. This also helps everybody keep safe and enables all members of the school community to enjoy themselves.
Stevenage Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities
Stevenage Day Service (Leyden House) provides day opportunities and a wide range of activities for adults with learning and physical disabilities. From their base in Leyden Road they provide friendly support and opportunities to help people to have fulfilled lives, try new things, have fun, achieve their goals and be part of their local community.
Stevenage Festival of Dance
Our aim at Stevenage Festival of Dance is to encourage children of ages from 3 - 18 years to participate in the arts. It provides the opportunity for young singers and dancers in Stevenage to perform in front of a live audience. It is part of our ethos to provide an educational platform where an adjudicator gives a critique of every performance, showing performers how they can improve their work. We believe that performing on a public stage improves the young people’s confidence whilst in a competitive and friendly setting.