An East Preston care home manager was surprised by friends and colleagues when they decided to throw a special celebration to mark the 35th anniversary of her starting a career in the care sector.
Angie Douglass turned up for work at The Martlets care home, in Fairlands, where she found herself guest of honour at an afternoon tea attended by residents and staff, as well as a host of former colleagues from across the region.
Ms Douglass said: “I feel so privileged to have worked with so many amazing people over the years and supporting people to the best of my ability has definitely been my greatest achievement.
“I would like to thank everyone who has organised this wonderful surprise today and taken the time to attend.”
Mrs Douglass started her career in the care sector in 1984, when she left school to take on some work experience in former care home Hampton House in Wick.
Her first permanent position was in domestic care as a support worker but she went on to become a team leader, deputy manager and then a manager of a residential care home.
Mrs Douglass joined Shaw healthcare when the largely employee-owned company took on the contract with West Sussex County Council in 2005.
Since then, she has worked at Elizabeth House care home in Bognor Regis, Hillside Lodge in Pulborough and Homefield House in Basingstoke.
Past and present colleagues gathered for the celebration, including Shaw healthcare’s chief executive Jeremy Nixey, who spoke about her dedication to her role and commitment to her residents.
Mr Nixey said: “Angie is very much a can-do lady, who will do anything she can to help.
“She is truly passionate about dementia care and always goes the extra mile to make sure that all of our residents have their thoughts and wishes known.”
As well as developing friendships in the home, residents are encouraged to establish and maintain close links with their relatives, friends and the community.