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A Woman of Strength - Sharon's Story

A Woman of Strength - Sharon's Story

A Woman of Strength - Sharon's Story

Sharon Rose’s story is about strength and focus.

It all started with a challenge set on the social media platform TikTok. The challenge was simple: set some goals, any goals you like, for the next 26 weeks. It could be to stop drinking, read a book, knit a jersey. Sharon decided her challenge would be to build enough strength to pull an ambulance for her 50th birthday in March 2022.

Sharon Rose

Sharon Rose (centre) with daughter Jess and trainer Chris

“I have suffered from mental health problems my whole life, and there was a time when I didn’t think I’d make it to age 50,” says Sharon, also known to family and friends as Shazza. “When I got closer to that date, I wanted to mark it by celebrating my strength.”

 Over the years, Wellington Free Ambulance has been there for Shazza on many occasions. One such occasion was when an ambulance was called to her home in 2020. To this day, she still remembers how strong the paramedic was when he helped her. “Since that day, I have often thought about how his strength saved me, and it is one of the things which influenced me to make the decision that I wanted to be strong myself.”

 When Sharon heard about the TikTok challenge, she knew she wanted to sign up, but wasn’t sure what challenge to set herself.

 She said to her friend, “I want a goal that proves how strong I am. Maybe I could try to pull a car.” Her friend replied, “Why don’t you try to pull an ambulance?”

 It was the perfect idea. The memory of how Wellington Free Ambulance had helped save her life more than once was never far from Shazza's mind as she battled through the intensive training. 

 Shazza is only 4 foot 11” and although she is blessed with a naturally strong body, she had a huge amount of work to do to achieve her goal. She hired a strength and conditioning coach, Chris. One of the hardest parts was learning to trust that Chris was going to make her strong enough. The second hardest part was having to turn up every day for training.

 Sharon’s daughter Jess was a huge support to her. “There were dark moments during those 26 weeks,” says Sharon “but Jess would stand at my door every morning and ask if I was coming to the gym. She was amazing.”

 The whole process taught Shazza the art of focus. She started to think about her mental health as only one aspect of her life and learnt to focus more on other areas – such as training.

 Along the way, she documented her training progress on TikTok, and accumulated nearly 7,000 followers. Many donated to her GiveALittle fundraising page.

As the date of Shazza’s birthday and the culmination of 26 weeks of hard work approached,  all the ambulances were committed to working in the community, so Shazza had to find an alternative.  This arrived in the form of a 10 tonne truck!

 “I saw the truck and I felt so nervous,” says Sharon. “About 100 people came to watch me, and another 2,500 were watching on livestream platforms too.

 “I set everything up and knew I just had to get it moving, that’s all I needed to do. In the end I pulled the truck three times!”

 “I felt so emotional and elated, knowing that I was giving back to Wellington Free Ambulance for saving my life. For my mental health, it turned out what I needed to do was focus on something. It was all about learning the art of focussing.”

 Sharon raised a total of $7,781 for Wellington Free Ambulance, beating her original goal of $5,000. She says that every time she sees an ambulance now, it makes her stop and think about what she has achieved, and how strong she has become.

 “My next goal is to re-do the challenge again in 5 years time, to raise more money for Wellington Free Ambulance. This time, I want to set a Guinness World Record, breaking the current record of 12.5 tonnes,” says Sharon.


We are so grateful for Sharon’s support. Her incredible achievement has helped keep our services free of charge for everyone who needs us. If you would like to support Wellington Free Ambulance, there are lots of ways to get involved. Click here for more details. 



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