As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Lilian Faithfull Care we caught up with our longest serving member of staff, Wendy Heeks, who has amazingly been with the charity for well over half of its history! Wendy started at St Faith’s 42 years ago when she was 17 and has been working there as a Care Assistant ever since.
“When I started there was only the main house and small annexe. There were three flours and each had one 5 bedded and one 6 bedded ward. The wards had a concertina door into a day room with a bay window. Dementia was not spoken about, it was just explained as ‘confused’. We didn’t even have a hoist, we had to use strips of calico sheets under people to lift them.”
“There were two nurses and a matron who was strict but a really lovely woman called Evelyn Newell. They did everything, there was no secretary so they also had to do all the admin and wages. We wore dresses, plain blue with white piping and white belts and white starched hats, which we had to starch ourselves. Carers had so much responsibility and you NEVER went sick.“
What has kept Wendy at Lilian Faithfull Care? “It’s because it’s a charity rather than being done for profit and money making gain. I think they’ve done really well. There have been lots of alterations for the better and we always have all the equipment here, everything you need.”
After 34 years of working nights Wendy now works days on the middle floor. “In the bedrooms there is a cloud on the wall which has lots of snippets about the residents and their lives, it means you can always have a quick glance and learn about them.”
With 42 years of experience what advice would Wendy give those thinking of working in care now….? “Definitely do it and take up all the opportunities that Lilian Faithfull Care offer now.”
Thank you Wendy for your 42 years of dedication and care!