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Erskine Veterans Charity Marks International Women's Day

Today on International Women's Day, Erskine Veterans Charity joins in the celebration of women all over the world.

We are honoured at Erskine to have cared for many inspirational women and most importantly been guided by many inspirational women through the past century.

This year Erskine is putting the spotlight firmly on our amazing Director of Human Resources & Organisation Development, Royal Navy Veteran Sarah Bickerstaff.

Joining the Royal Navy at the age of 17 Sarah never realised that she was about to experience some of the best days of her life.

Early on she was drafted to working with the Royal Marines at their HQ (DRORM) in Portsmouth in the ‘Pay Cell’ ensuring Royal Marines were paid correctly.

Sarah said: “The Royal Marines were fitness crazy, so everything revolved around sport. At least once a week we were sent off-site on a team building activity.  It made us stronger as a team and you quickly integrated into being ‘one of the family’. There was never a dull moment and the “work hard play hard” ethos really worked for me and stays with me to this day”.

A lasting experience for Sarah was towards the end of her Royal Navy career when she was posted to the Falklands.

Sarah’s experience of serving in the Falklands during peacetime was very different to that of her Navy comrades who had served during the conflict.

Sarah said: “I worked in the HQ which was staffed with tri-service personnel and having never worked with the Army or Air Force before it was a new experience. In fact, the whole posting was filled with new experiences. I visited every corner of the island, flew in Bristow and Chinook helicopters and Hercules aircrafts. I went on expeditions to explore, learn about the conflict, and pay my respects to those that lost their lives. They will never be forgotten and to be able to honour them was a humbling experience”.

On leaving the Navy in 1998 after seven years, with nothing but good memories,  Sarah went on to enjoy family life with her husband and son and also to have a highly successful career in HR for many years before she found Erskine in 2020.

Now as the Director of HR&OD Sarah reflects: “The ethos, camaraderie and feeling of belonging while serving was one I never replicated in my civilian career until I joined Erskine. Although not all the workforce are Veterans, the homes, and varied services we offer are packed with Veterans and colleagues who care for people like me who have served. It was like coming home again, I found my place after 22 years of searching”.

Erskine wishes Sarah and women all over the world a very happy International Women’s Day.

To find out more about Erskine Veterans Charity’s work please visit our website at, follow on twitter @ErskineCharity via Facebook or listen to Erskine Veterans Radio at To donate directly to Erskine, please visit

Erskine Veterans Charity is the trading name of Erskine Hospital | Company No. SC174103 | Registered Charity SC006609

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