Ita Graven from Elizabeth House care home in Parkstone enjoyed a double celebration recently when she not only turned 80 but was surprised with a special afternoon tea to commemorate her amazing 48 years of continuous service. Care South’s Chief Executive, Simon Bird joined the team to celebrate the occasion and personally thank Ita for her dedication to Care South and all the residents she has cared for over nearly half a century, with Ita currently even caring for residents younger than herself.
Young at heart, Ita started her care career in 1974 at Draper House, a residential care home, when it was owned by Dorset County Council. Ita chose to continue working for the service when the hospital transferred over to the Dorset Trust and Care South, until Draper House closed. Ita then transferred to another Care South care home, Queensmead before finally moving to Elizabeth House. Ita is now a Care Team Leader, which she marks as the most rewarding period of her career. Ita commented: “Being promoted to Care Team Leader was a real highlight for me and something I worked hard to achieve. The memory will always stick with me.
“The 48 years have gone by in a flash! I love the work; every day is unique, and I’ve made a good living out of doing something I enjoy. I have always said you don’t know your home until you know the residents and that when you know your residents, you know your home. Elizabeth House is a home-from-home for me, and I really appreciate all the effort that has been made to make today’s celebrations so special.”
Simon Bird, Chief Executive at Care South, commented: “We are lucky to have lots of long-term team members who have stayed with us well in excess of 25 years, but Ita’s 48 years is really quite incredible, and there certainly seems to be no stopping her with her energy and enthusiasm. Ita has cared for hundreds of residents in our care and really is the perfect example of someone that was made for a career in care with absolute empathy and devotion to caring for everyone she meets.”