Sara is a philanthropist and former art dealer best known for founding Haven, a breast cancer support charity.
In 1993, her children’s nanny, Wendy Ricketts, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sara noted,that, while the dedication of the doctors was indisputable from a medical point of view, the mental and emotional support that the NHS offered was lacking. After speaking to patients, nurses and doctors, who shared similar concerns, she realised she had spotted a gap in the care these patients were receiving.
She resolved to ensure there existed one centre in which a range of services for breast cancer sufferers were available under one roof – information, support, counselling and the widest range of complementary therapies available in Britain.
On 10 October 1996, Sara retired as an art dealer and sold her entire gallery collection (alongside a substantial portion of her private collection) at Bonhams Auction House in Knightsbridge, London.
Together with the sale of the lease to her gallery, she raised the money to buy an initial building for the Haven’s use, and she committed to giving the charity a 20 year lease at a peppercorn rent to get the charity off the ground – thereby making a donation which would be worth millions over the first two decades of the charity’s existence.
It took six months before she found the right location for the charity’s first centre – a dilapidated chapel in Fulham Broadway, close to both The Royal Marsden cancer hospital and the specialist Breast Cancer Unit at Charing Cross Hospital.
A fundraising campaign was launched to raise funds for the chapel’s renovation and for the first two years of running costs.
The first Haven in London was opened by the charity’s Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, in February 2000, and since then, further centres have opened in Hereford (in January 2004), Leeds (in October 2008), Hampshire (in October 2015), and Worcester (in January 2016).
Sara has two children, Sophie and Alexia.