In September, Deputy Manager Claire Zehe celebrated an amazing 30 years of service at Sisters Hospitallers care home in Shenstone.
We honoured this very special day by presenting Claire with a card, flowers and gifts from us all – gathering with our residents who were outside enjoying their picnic lunch. We all gave Claire a massive round of applause for this remarkable achievement.
Claire started at Footherley as a care assistant on nights working initially one night per week which then increased to two and this was the pattern for her first eleven years. Gradually she moved from nights to days. When a vacancy came up for a senior role Claire applied and was given the position. She loved managing her floor and took pride in making sure it ran as it should include the making of the beds. Having been taught by our Sisters she would accept nothing but the same perfection!
Pauline Jones was Head of Care and when her Assistant left, there was another opening for Claire so she applied for the role and yes, she was appointed Assistant Head of Care! After a time Pauline decided she would like to reduce her hours and as Claire’s family were growing up and Pauline and Claire had worked so closely for many years it became almost a case of swapping the roles.
So Claire became Head of Care with Pauline becoming Family Liaison Officer. Claire held this role for almost six years and towards the end of that time, Tina was deployed to help out at our Addlestone home so Claire would step in as acting Deputy to cover in her absence. This worked well, and with Claire’s vast experience over the years, she was offered the permanent role of Deputy Manager bringing us nicely up to date with how she climbed the ladder!
Claire talked of how she has always been lucky here and has worked with some really good teams of staff. Years ago there would be weekday and weekend staff so you would always know who you would be working with. It was a super time. Claire loved it and feels very fortunate to have worked with such lovely, people, our adorable residents and our Sisters whose knowledge is incredible. She’s learnt from the best!
She has also seen many changes over the years as the sisters who used to be the seniors and managers have got older and stepped back we have continued to maintain their ethos and Sisters Hospitallers values.
Claire also mentioned how the Sisters’ presence makes our home unique and summed up by saying how it has been a privilege to look after our residents. She marvels at how the families trust them into our care, and over the years this means Claire has looked after generations of families which perfectly sums up the excellent care they have received. Well done Claire! Here’s to you for your hard work, commitment and dedication. What more can we say?!