I was born in London and moved to Chelmsford, Essex to attend the local grammar school. I passed the time as an Air Cadet, a St. John’s Cadet, Chair of Chelmsford Youth Council, member for Chelmsford on the Young Essex Assembly and a dedicated member of the Proactive Essex Police Youth Strategy (PEPYS) Youth Forum. I quit all of them when I was 17 in order to concentrate on my A levels, and started editing Wikipedia instead. I remain in the top 0.2% of editors worldwide by number of edits.
In 2007, I moved to Bradford in my gap year to work as a Disabled Student Support Worker with (now called) Volunteering Matters. I had intended to spend my year taking a break from intensive education – but I fell into political activism, joined the first of many LGBT societies, became External Relations Officer for Sensible Drug Policy UK, and nearly got arrested for the first time blockading a Total petrol garage (single largest investor in the totalitarian regime of Burma).
I spent my summer in Cork studying Ancient Greek, before heading to the University of Manchester to embark on my degree in Theology and Religious Studies. I served as Bi rep on Manchester LGBT every year of my degree, founded Manchester Students for Sensible Drug Policy, got stuck into student electoral politics, and went to the equivalent of two protests a week for a year. Second year, I did much of the above, but also became Chair of Manchester Students Against ID, and at some point became a Liberal Democrat. I quit shortly after the Liberal Democrats got into government and everything that followed.
In 2010, I took another gap year between my second and third year. The Coalition Government was elected and I took a job as Cuts Campaign Assistant at my student union, organising students to campaign against the cuts to public services and the rises in tuition fees.
I resigned from SSDP UK in July 2010 over a matter of principle and in March 2011, I helped found a different drug policy organisation, the Re:Vision Drug Policy Network, which works to empower young people to speak out against the drug war. Re:Vision was taken over by another in 2014, and I became a board member for NORML UK, then an adviser to NORML Women’s Alliance, before finally leaving the drug policy sphere for other interests.
In summer 2012, I moved back home to London, took an internship in digital media with Yachad, and took a Certificate in Digital Marketing with Google. In 2013, I enrolled in the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary to train as an interfaith minister. I was ordained as the Reverend Sarah McCulloch in 2014.
I had been intending to go into digital marketing, but after a negative health experience, I changed course and enrolled in an MSc in Occupational Therapy at London South Bank University. This time, I avoided student politics and went a bit more private sector – I won a place on the LSBU Enterprise in Action scheme (£500 and office space to develop a business idea) and served as Digital Officer for the Enterprise Society for two years. I graduated in 2015 with a specialism in mental health and worked as a locum OT in a wide range of settings, including mental health wards, forensic units, early intervention services, dementia out-patient clinics, and community mental health teams.
In July 2016, I sold my car, packed up my life and moved to Israel to enrol at the Conservative Yeshiva and Pardes to undertake intensive Jewish learning and to improve my Hebrew. Outside of this, I also spent my year undertaking part-time training in Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy) and spent two months volunteering for A New Dawn in the Negev, a Bedouin Arab-Jewish NGO that works to improve employment and educational opportunities for at-risk Bedouin youth. I returned in September 2017, having finally completed my full-time education and ready to start a career.
My vocation as an occupational therapist is to work with and advocate for autistic adults. In 2015, I took on a mentoring role at AS Mentoring, and participated in a pilot study funded by Research Autism on the benefits of mentoring for young autistic adults. I’ve spoken nationally and internationally – the National Autistic Society’s AutismCon, their annual mental health conference for professionals, various autistic pride events and an international summit on sensory processing in autistic adults. I spent the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as the Senior OT in an autistic special school. My first research article on the sensory experiences of autistic adults is due to be published by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2023.
As of 2022, I am now employed as a senior autism specialist by a mental health trust in Haringey and in demand as a speaker and consultant outside of my professional role. I run most of my non-professional autism activities through the Autistic Empire, which I formed to build a self-supporting community of autistic adults.
You can see my Now page here.
In 2018, I became godparent to Robyn Aurora O’Kerry, who was the most amazing baby in the entire world. She lost this title on time to Jo Bernard O’Kerry in 2021.