Sara Rowbotham

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Sara Rowbotham is a Councillor in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, representing North Middleton. She was first elected to Rochdale Borough Council in 2015, and since January 2018 she is deputy leader of the council, and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing.[1][2] She is a member of the Labour Party.[2]

Rowbotham was born in Middleton, Greater Manchester. Both her parents were socialists.[3] Between 2004 and 2014, she worked for the Rochdale Crisis Intervention Team for the NHS and played a key role in exposing the Rochdale child sex abuse ring and helping bring the perpetrators to court.[4]

As a front line sexual health worker, who led the NHS crisis team, she made 181 referrals detailing the abuse and sexual grooming of young people between 2005 and 2011.[5] In 2012 she told the Rochdale inquiry her bosses had ignored scores of warnings that girls were being groomed and sexually exploited.[5] She was made redundant two years later, in 2014.[6]

She was portrayed in Three Girls, a BBC drama about the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, by actress Maxine Peake. Following the screening in mid-May 2017, a petition was started at calling for her to be formally recognized for her services to Rochdale community. By late May, it had gathered more than 275,000 signatures.[7]

In May 2017, she featured on an episode of First Dates.[8] She received a Special Recognition at the 2018 NHS Heroes Awards,[9] and was made an honorary member of the Council of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in October 2018.[10]


  1. ^ "Rochdale News | News Headlines | Councillors Sara Rowbotham and Daalat Ali appointed deputy leaders of Rochdale Borough Council". Rochdale Online. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  2. ^ a b "Contact Councillor Sara Rowbotham". Rochdale Borough Council. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Sara Rowbotham: 'I'd gone past the point of polite'". Nursing in Practice. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Who is Sara Rowbotham? Maxine Peake's Three Girls character in profile". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  5. ^ a b "Three Girls: who is Sara Rowbotham? The sexual health worker behind the uncovering of the Rochdale child-abuse scandal". 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  6. ^ "Thousands sign petition for Sara Rowbotham to be recognised for exposing Rochdale grooming scandal". Manchester Evening News. 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  7. ^ Jacobs, Bill (24 May 2017). "Ribble Valley woman's Rochdale petition support grows". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  8. ^ Lewis, Anna (24 May 2017). "Three Girls' real-life sexual health worker Sara Rowbotham was on First Dates, and she was awesome". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  9. ^ Scheerhout, John; Coyle, Simon (21 May 2018). "Who is NHS Heroes Awards winner Sara Rowbotham?". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Sara Rowbotham made an honorary member of the NSPCC Council". Rochdale Online. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2019.