Four employees of the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children have been honoured with long service awards this week.
They were presented with a crystal vase inscribed with their name and length of service by Centre Manager, Keith Manning who said, “On behalf of your colleagues, families and more importantly the people in some way or another who have benefited by the actions of your work to support them in their time with us at the centre I would like to congratulate you, thank you for your long service to the Chiltern Centre and long may it continue.”
Pamela Lee started working at the Chiltern Centre in 2006 to help her Mum Marian Lee, former Centre Manager to set up the Chiltern Centre. She has worked at the after school club on Wednesdays and now works two days per week as an Admin Assistant at the Centre. “It’s a really nice surprise to receive this award. I’ve loved working here and seeing the Centre develop over the years. I love seeing all the families enjoy all the activities and seeing the children grow.”
Chris Kyle joined the Chiltern Centre from Barnados in 2006 where she was a residential project worker. She worked as a Relief Assistant Residential Support Care worker at the Chiltern Centre as and when needed and worked at the after school club on a Wednesday and Saturday club at Bishopswood. In 2009 Chris started working on admin duties supporting the Administrator two days per week before briefly retiring in November 2014 but returned in March 2015 to help one day a week with an archive project. Chris said, “I’m really honoured to receive this award. I’m not sure I deserve it as I’m retired now and only here one day a week. It’s been great to be back and has helped ease the transition into retirement. It’s a really special place – there have been some hard times over the years with the threat of closure but everyone got behind it.”
Sarah Russ has been a member of the care team since joining 12 years ago as well as being the health and safety rep for the centre. Sarah joined the Centre from Townlands Hospital where she had worked for 15 years as a nursing assistant. Sarah said, “I love working with the children and seeing the children improve especially seeing the youngsters going into adulthood is very rewarding. I love all my colleagues – we have a really good team here.”
Jane Ainslie joined in 2008 after a 14 year career in Marketing for Unilever. Jane is the head of the fundraising team whose responsibility is to help raise funds to keep the centre up and running. Jane said, “Myself and the team (Emma Lerche-Thomsen, Harriet Barcella and Liz Deacon) I think we have raised over £2m since I started. The biggest challenge has been starting every year at £0 and having to raise £200,000 each year. A few years it was a step too far but in the main we are really well supported in the community and we have a number of generous trust donors. Emma, Liz and Harriet have been a great team to help do this.”
Chair of the Trustees, Paul Barrett added, “Very well done to you all. When you consider also that when we started out we weren’t sure we could even continue for a year or two. It’s extraordinary that we can find four of you that have been with for us at least 10 years. You really do represent the milestone in yourselves for the Centre.”