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Brenda’s forty-two years of dedication to older people’s care and wellbeing

Brenda, a senior carer at Foxby Court in Gainsborough, still finds her job fulfilling and worthwhile after 42 years of service.

Brenda Broadberry has served the community of Gainsborough, currently as a senior carer at Foxby Court, for over 42 years. She joined the care home’s previous incarnation Oakdene House, in 1980, and stayed when Foxby Court opened in 1982, then run by Lincolnshire County Council. The home, which cares for up to 46 residents, has been run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) since 1992.

Brenda became a Carer after leaving college, having completed a Home Management and Family Care course. She explained: “I wanted to look after the elderly, to make their last years comfortable and enjoyable. Now I’ve had the privilege to do that for hundreds of residents over the years. Through all this time I’ve found my job fulfilling and worthwhile, and I’ve had a great deal of fun along the way.”

“I’ve worked with many wonderful people who have become lifelong friends and met lovely families whilst caring for their loved ones.”

Foxby Court events and celebrations

Brenda lists residents’ outings as sources of fun, which have included trips to the seaside, to cafes, to the Lincolnshire Show and to see Bransby Horses. The home regularly organises entertainment with local singers and Brenda loves to see the joy these events inspire in residents.

Keen to spread the word about Foxby Court and fundraise for the residents’ amenities fund, Brenda organised a tombola stall at the Christmas market. She said: “I have fond memories of running the stall, we wore fancy dress and ran a tombola at the Gainsborough Christmas market. One year we won the best dressed stall.”

Brenda enjoys joining special celebrations for the residents at the care home, which have included birthday milestones such as 100-year birthdays and on one occasion a wedding between two residents at the parish church.

Brenda’s career

Brenda progressed from Carer to Acting Matron (as it was called in those days), Care Leader, Acting Head of Care and Acting Manager. She has an NVQ 2 and 3 in health and social care and has an NVQ Assessor Award.

In 2009 Brenda received an OSJCT Chair’s Award for Meritorius Service at Lincoln Cathedral and in 2021 she was recognised with a 40 years Long Service Award with a celebration at Foxby Court, which took place during Covid-19 restrictions.

Brenda, who is married and has 2 daughters and 2 stepsons, and lives in Gainsborough, has found that working in care requires and offers flexibility. She said: “I am fortunate that my family have always supported my work in care. They realise that it’s not 9 – 5 and that I sometimes work unsociable hours, weekends and over holidays such as Christmas or Easter. Not that I’ve regretted being with residents during special celebrations.

“The Trust has been supportive to me when I’ve needed to swap shifts or organise my time around family members who I’ve needed to spend time with.”

Lyndsey Watson, Home Manager at Foxby Court, said: “Brenda is a fantastic member of the team. She brings a wealth of experience and personal qualities. She is a special favourite of our residents here.”

Whilst Brenda is among the longest serving OSJCT Lincolnshire employees she plans to extend her length of service for another few years at least.

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