Sarah Blake

Health and Safety Trainer and Adviser

It is such a pleasure helping people achieve qualifications which will help them keep their colleagues and others safe and well.

What led you to work for PETA?

Before I joined PETA, I worked in a variety of industries, such as motorsport, estate agency and telecoms, mainly working for Directors or Owners of businesses as a Personal Assistant.  PAs wear many hats and I was always involved in health and safety. 

During my time in my previous job, I was asked to take on the responsibility of managing health and safety for the business, which sparked my interest and passion for the industry, so much so that when a vacancy came up at PETA, I applied and was pleasantly surprised to have been offered the job as a trainer.

What is your role at PETA and what drives you to do what you do?

I am one of the health and safety trainers for the company.  One day I can be teaching a NEBOSH General Certificate course and the next, mental health first aid.  Every day and every course are different, and it is such a pleasure helping people achieve qualifications which will help keep them, their colleagues and others safe and well.

The main driver for me is a very strong belief in the topics I teach.  Health and safety training courses sometimes have a poorer reputation than other courses and I relish the challenge of turning someone’s opinion of our industry around.  It is a very rewarding job and I absolutely love it!

What knowledge/experience do you draw upon for your role?

I have around 16 years’ experience of helping Directors and Owners of businesses manage the day to day running of health and safety, all the while juggling a variety of other tasks.  In addition to that, I hold NEBOSH National Certificates in Occupational Safety and Health as well as Fire Safety and Risk Management. 

I have a diploma in fire door safety, am a qualified mental health first aid instructor as well as various other health and safety qualifications.  In addition to this, I also hold a Level 3 qualification in Teaching Adults and am a Technical Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH).

How do you approach your role on a day-to-day basis? What skills are required?

As a trainer, you need to know your topic thoroughly and be able to present in a way that others with no prior knowledge or experience can understand.  Learners come up with weird and wonderful questions so you need to be able to think on your feet and sometimes dredge up those random facts you’ve learnt in the past!

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I am a supporter of the National Autistic Society and try to fundraise for them as much as I can.  They have been a great support to my family since my son’s diagnosis at the age of 3.  I also love reading, hiking, running and messing around with my children on the beach.

What are your personal values, and what is important to you?

This is a really tough question! Having a child with a hidden disability has really made me realise how important it is to treat others as you wish to be treated yourself, which is a cheesy quote I know but it is so true.