Dorothy, 80, still cares to work

Dorothy Clark with Peter Crabb who both work at Westlake House care home in Horsham SUS-180320-104122001
Dorothy Clark with Peter Crabb who both work at Westlake House care home in Horsham SUS-180320-104122001

Dorothy Clark aged 80 works as a care assistant at Westlake House in Horsham and joined us in 2003.

Dorothy is pictured with senior care assistant Peter Crabb who also works at Westlake House and has been doing so over the last 15 years.

Both Dorothy and Peter have ensured that our residents care needs and comfort come first and that delivery of quality of care was always at the heart of everything.

Dorothy gave us an insight on her life story. She was evacuated during the Second World War when she was only four-years-old along with her sister who was ten-years-old at the time.

The lady they stayed with did not give them any meals but only biscuits. Her sister took her to see the billeting officer and explained that the lady they were staying with did not give them enough food to eat.

They were placed in alternative accommodation which was much better and they stayed there for two years.

Her father eventually came to take them home and it was dangerous because there were air raids and bombs dropping. Dorothy said she was not scared because she was glad to be with her family.

The war ended when she was seven-years-old and her education was affected as a result. Dorothy said she did go to school but left when she was 15-years-old.

Dorothy got a job in London working for Oldham’s press. She met her husband when she was 21-years-old and married the following year.

She had three children and stayed at home to look after them. She went back to work when her youngest child was five-years-old and worked until she retired.

She moved to Horsham but could not get used to not working and so joined Westlake House when she was 66 years old.

Dorothy added that this job was the longest employment she had ever had. She said as she is still fit at the age of 80, and the job gives her great satisfaction and is very rewarding, she hopes to continue doing it as long as she stays well. She has ten grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Westlake House also employ 88-year-old Edna who works as the hostess and has done for the last 22 years, and whom the home celebrated as the oldest employee when she was 86-years-old.

Dorothy said that she found the people working at Westlake House to be very friendly and welcoming. She felt comfortable right from the start.

Both Edna and Dorothy have not thought seriously about retiring. Both employees continue to work and make a huge difference to the older people living at Westlake House.

General manager, Elizabeth Higson at Westlake House said: “Both Dorothy and Edna are great inspirations to their work colleagues and it is dedication like this that ensures our residents are provided with a happy place to live.