Founder - Sarah Howells

The Passionate PA was launched in October 2007 by Sarah Howells.

Sarah made it her mission to rapidly increase her profile in the local Dorset business community not only by her hard work, but also by being a little bit cheeky, a little bit outspoken but mostly by being so passionate about providing an excellent service. Every Passionate PA on the team now has these qualities too, as in our opinion, life is simply too short to be anything else.

Sarah’s parents insist that her first words were ‘I want to do it myself’ and whilst she didn’t always strictly believe them, she was always acutely aware of her independent streak. She’d always wanted her own business, but it wasn’t until 2007, at the grand old age of 33 (!), that she really sat and thought about how she could make the dream a reality.

She started by thinking about why she wanted to jump off the corporate ladder and the conclusion she came to was that she had lost the passion for what she was doing. Then she thought about what made her feel passionate and she decided that anything to do with people and organising really excited her. She was good at it. It gave her a buzz. And so her ideas developed…

Sarah had seen friends, colleagues and associates rushing around like mad things and not always getting ‘stuff’ done. She heard so many people complaining that there just weren’t enough hours in the day and she also noticed lots of books and courses on time management!

Sarah decided the world didn’t need books or theories. She couldn’t physically make the day longer but she could offer practical help - someone to do things for them, organise things, make things happen. Sarah wanted to be someone people could trust 100% because of her passion for getting things right – first time, every time.

And so, The Passionate PA was born.

In early 2009 Sarah was ready to expand. Business was good and clients were coming on board all the time. She hired Kate Chastey as the second, freelance, Passionate PA and the plan was, quite frankly, to take over the world!

Fate had other plans however. Sadly in June 2009 Sarah was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  She spent many months fighting incredibly hard to get rid of ‘Frodo’ (as she called it) but in December 2009 she was given the news that “the Breast Cancer had moved to her brain” (again, Sarah’s defiant words).

After three very hard months, Sarah succumbed to Pneumonia and passed away on 19th March 2010. Just before doing so, she had decided that her wonderful little business needed to live on without her and so she handed the reins to Kate.

Sarah’s story can be read on her personal blog, but be warned – even the toughest of men will cry. Sarah had a truly touching writing style and this blog is a no holds  barred account of a young, charismatic, beautiful woman fighting the most vicious disease. There are parts that will make you laugh until your sides hurt, but also haunting words that will stay will you for a long time. Tissues at the ready...

Sarah was a truly amazing woman and is greatly missed each and every day by her family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and all of us here at The Passionate PA.


  • Having known Sarah really well, I am delighted to now be a client of Debbie's. She asks me lots of probing questions - making me think about things in a different way. Debbie has taken on board my monthly newsletter and helped to brand all... read more »

    Helen Stacey,
    Aspire Jobs

  • Kate’s work is extremely reliable and of the highest standard. She can also calmly adapt her skills to specific industries where jargon or internal procedures might prove a barrier to other people. I have no hesitation in recommending her. read more »

    Martin Edwards,
    Julia’s House

  • Dominique has been brilliant for Kandy Solutions. She has taken on a wide variety of tasks with efficiency and enthusiasm. I have full confidence in her work whatever she does. A pleasure to work with she sets the benchmark for freelance PAs. read more »

    Andrew Mogford, Director,
    Kandy Solutions

  • The Passionate PA is a fantastic resource for us at Dorset Business Angels - they manage our events. This involves everything from setting up the location, organisation with the hotel, online booking, invoicing, customer liaison and communication. Debbie has forensic attention to detail. She is... read more »

    Peter Eales,
    Dorset Business Angels

  • Just a quick note to let you know how thrilled we have been with the Passionate PA’s delivery of our “Sweet Sixteen” Poole office opening party. I have received incredibly complimentary feedback from my fellow Directors at Mploy. The high attention to detail and hard work on the day ensured... read more »

    Matt Swift,
    Mploy Staffing Solutions

  • Debbie, from our first meeting, made the whole process run like clockwork, taking the pressure from me right from the start. She was able to provide a detailed list of what the project will encompass and a breakdown of the costs. I was updated along... read more »

    Allan Cruse FPFS Chartered MCSI,
    The Insurance Institute of Bournemouth (2016-17)

  • Dominique assisted us on a project involving our company database. It was a pleasure to work with Dominique as she was always very timely and an excellent communicator. We always knew how progress was going and when the project would be complete. Thoroughly recommended and... read more »

    Lee Taylor, Marketing Manager,
    Coles Miller Solicitors

  • I have worked with Kate for the last two years while serving on the IoD Dorset committee. Kate has provided excellent support as Branch Administrator. Kate’s enthusiasm is infectious and I have been really impressed by the initiative that she has shown in carrying out... read more »

    Warren Munson,
    Inspire Accountancy and Chairman of IoD Dorset

Office: 03 3000 20 200 (local rate)

Dorset: 01202 802863 (local rate)

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