John Liddle has been providing food for the residents at the Sisters Hospitallers´ care homes in the UK for over 20 years.
How long have you known the Sisters Hospitallers for?
I have known the Sisters of the English Province for over 20 years. They are more like friends and family. Firstly, as an employed Area Manager for a Catering company contracted by the Sisters, I was responsible for looking after the three care homes in England.
For the past 10 years, I have been solely responsible for their catering requirements under the name of Social Care Catering Solutions. This was brought about by the Sisters’ own request after I had left the company.
The staff and co-workers take on the Institution principles providing a safe loving haven for residents in their final years
What would you say makes this Institution special?
Over the past many years, and being involved with so many care homes of every shape, size, ethos and religion, the devoted sisters and employees of Sisters Hospitallers never cease to amaze me. I honestly know that you will never find a more caring, loving final home in life for your loved ones. While the Sisters work relentlessly unrewarded in monetary terms for residents wellbeing, the staff and co-workers take on the Institution principles providing a safe loving haven for residents in their final years. (A true Non-Profit Organisation)
Can you recall a truly special moment working with the sisters?
I have had many experiences and moments shared with the Sisters over the years, so will mention just a few but truly I could fill a book full of them. So will mention one for each of the homes:
One of my first major celebrations was at St Teresa’s Home (London) during its 75th Anniversary in 2001. It was a great success, but I will always remember being scolded by the Superior for being too generous! She said we should always think and remind ourselves of the great poverty in the world. This was an eye opener and something to think about for years to come.
We share many values. What always remains is the joy and fulfilment of assisting the Sisters in providing the best care possible for residents in their biggest time of need in their life. My motto is to treat residents as I would my own Mother and Father.
Another special occasion was at St Augustine’s Home. It was the day Sister Collette took her final vows, this was a true celebration to be remembered and a privilege to be a part of. I remember the joy, the singing and laughter… and I did not get told off for providing too much!
The 50th Anniversary of the Sisters Hospitallers at Footherley Hall and the 25th Celebration of Friends of Footherley was unforgettable too. We had a huge Marquise in the car park and the Provincial Superior, who happened to be Sister Lourdes, helped me organise the tables before breakfast while the rest of the sisters were all wrapping up cutlery and napkins.
Yet another was at the Servite RC Primary School in Fulham (London) celebrating the 100th Death Anniversary of St Benedict Menni. This was an amazing day organised by the Provincial Superior at the time, Sister Begoña. All the Sisters travelled in and came together from all the care homes, including co-workers, to celebrate this day with a service held in the Church. The catering staff from all the care homes helped along with all of my family and many friends.
What shared values helped you build a long-lasting relationship with the sisters?
We share many values. What always remains is the joy and fulfilment of assisting the Sisters in providing the best care possible for residents in their biggest time of need in their life. My motto is to treat residents as I would my own Mother and Father. The Sisters treat all as family regardless of circumstance or personality.
We are all very aware of the importance of the food we receive and provide to those in the Sisters’ care
How is Social Care Catering Solutions contributing to the holistic care of the residents?
As a person and as a company we are all very aware of the importance of the food we receive and provide to those in the Sisters’ care.
Next to loving care, a good clean bed and a clean happy environment, food is one of the main contributions to a good life. Food provides stimulation, daily enjoyment, a time mark of every day, memories of the past and happiness, as well as the balanced sustenance required for residents. It even at times lets residents know what day it is… Fish for lunch, well, it’s Friday, of course! Roast Beef and Yorkshire… it must be Sunday! Food jolts a resident’s memory and awareness.