Barchester Celebrates the Retirement of its Longest Serving Member of Staff
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Barchester Celebrates the Retirement of its Longest Serving Member of Staff

Staff and residents at Barchester’s Red Oaks care home in Henfield are celebrating the outstanding contribution of Polly Bearman, who is retiring today after 49 years’ loyal service.

For the past 49 years, Polly has held many different roles within the home, turning her hand to where she was needed from housekeeping to hospitality, but Polly says her favourite job of all was caring for the residents at Red Oaks.  When asked why she has stayed for so many years, she says simply: “For the residents, looking after them is the best job.  Red Oaks is a wonderful home and I have loved caring for our residents for so many years, getting to know them and providing the best possible care has been my life’s work. I’m so happy I could do it.”

Polly started working at Red Oaks back in 1972 when she helped set up the Gardener’s Royal Benevolent Society Country Home as it was then know.  She remembers when the home was officially opened on May 9th 1973 by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.  Polly’s royal connections don’t end there, she also met the Queen Mother in 1989 when the Gardener’s Royal Benevolent Society celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Regional Director, Stella Ashdown, comments: “Red Oaks is incredibly lucky to have many long-standing members of staff, we have five team members who have been with us over 20 years and another seven who have been with us for over 15 years, but Polly holds the record for length of service and we are so grateful to her for all her unstinting help and hard work.  We will miss her, she has been an integral part of the home for almost half a century but we wish her well and we know she will keep in touch.”

HR Director, Genevieve Glover, says: “Polly has been part of the Barchester family for so many years and we are very sorry to see her go but it’s time for a well-earned rest after all those years of helping others.  We can’t thank her enough for all that she has done for Red Oaks and for Barchester – she has been a wonderful addition to the team.  We’re here to raise a glass and toast her well-earned retirement!

Polly lives locally and, even though she is retiring, she is still very active in Henfield volunteering to help elderly residents with their shopping and helping them get around, she also looks after her daughter’s dogs while she works – there’s no stopping her it seems!


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We’re proud to have over 240 care homes and six independent hospitals nationwide, that continually meet and exceed all relevant regulatory compliance standards. Join one of our fantastic teams and you’ll make sure our residents and patients get the outstanding quality of care, support, services and facilities they deserve.


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