Henfield care home’s longest serving staff member retires after 49 years
A Henfield care home is celebrating the outstanding contribution of its longest serving member of staff as she retires after 49 years of loyal service.
A small party was held for Polly Bearman – who started working at Barchester’s Red Oaks in the 70s – during last day at the home on Tuesday, August 24.
She has held many different roles during her time at Red Oaks, turning her hand to where she was needed from housekeeping to hospitality, but Polly says her favourite job of all was caring for the residents at Red Oaks.
When asked why she has stayed for so many years, she said: “For the residents, looking after them is the best job. Red Oaks is a wonderful home and I have loved caring for our residents for so many years, getting to know them and providing the best possible care has been my life’s work. I’m so happy I could do it.”
Polly’s service started in 1972 when she helped set up the Gardener’s Royal Benevolent Society Country Home as it was then known.
She remembers when the home was officially opened on May 9, 1973, by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.
Polly’s royal connections don’t end there, she also met the Queen Mother in 1989 when the Gardener’s Royal Benevolent Society celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Regional director Stella Ashdown said: “Red Oaks is incredibly lucky to have many long-standing members of staff, we have five team members who have been with us over 20 years and another seven who have been with us for over 15 years, but Polly holds the record for length of service and we are so grateful to her for all her unstinting help and hard work.
“We will miss her, she has been an integral part of the home for almost half a century but we wish her well and we know she will keep in touch.”
Polly lives locally and, even though she is retiring, she is still very active in Henfield volunteering to help elderly residents with their shopping and helping them get around.
She also looks after her daughter’s dogs while she works.
HR director Genevieve Glover said: “Polly has been part of the Barchester family for so many years and we are very sorry to see her go but it’s time for a well-earned rest after all those years of helping others.
“We can’t thank her enough for all that she has done for Red Oaks and for Barchester – she has been a wonderful addition to the team.
“We’re here to raise a glass and toast her well-earned retirement!”