The contribution of two much-loved care home members of staff was recognised today.
In a special presentation at Fornham House Residential Home, in Fornham St Martin, Graham Lomer, executive managing director of Healthcare Homes Group Ltd, presented activities coordinator Val Crascall and activities assistant Marion Mason with flowers and gifts.
Mrs Crascall, who was also presented with a painting by a resident, was thanked for 25 years of service and her continued employment, while Mrs Mason was wished a happy retirement after five years with the company.
Mr Lomer said: “Val has worked here for 25 years. If you would all just like to stop and think about the number of people that Val has helped, the number of people whose lives Val has made so much better. That’s something that money can’t buy. That’s something that comes from within.
“And I’d just like to say thank you for all those people who are here today and those who aren’t with us anymore, just a great big thank you because I know what you’ve done.”
Mrs Crascall, 61, from Barrow, said she began working at the care home as temporary cover because it was short staffed, but that her love of the residents had kept her there ever since.
“I have heard some fantastic life stories and they’re just from all walks of life. I have got so much out of it,” she said.
Mrs Mason also began working at the home as a casual member of staff.
The 61-year-old, from Great Finborough, said: “You get out as much as you put in. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing because sometimes it can be challenging and you’ve got to find activities for all kinds of people, different people with different needs.
“At the end of the day, if you’ve made someone happy, you feel happy. If you can make someone smile, it makes your job worthwhile.”
When she retires on Friday, she plans to spend more time with her family and more time gardening and fund-raising for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The mother-of-two and stepmother-of-four has raised around £200,000 for EACH since her grandson George, who had a genetic brain disorder, died in its care nine years ago.
“My grandson died in the hospice so I felt compelled to do something for them,” she said, adding that she would return to Fornham House as a volunteer on an irregular basis.
“I will miss her very much,” said Mrs Crascall.
Of Mrs Mason’s retirement, home manager Heather Choat said: “I’m devastated really. She’s adorable. She works so hard doing activities and care for us and is very much involved in the home. She’s a real little trooper and is so passionate about the residents and the care. She’ll be hard to replace.”