Celebrating women who work at Middleton Hall on International Women’s Day

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We’re celebrating some of the wonderful women who have worked at Middleton Hall Retirement Village for over 20 years to mark this year’s International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March.

Almost half of all of our co-owners have been at Middleton Hall for more than five years but some have worked as part of our operational team almost four times longer than that – all of them women. So, in keeping with the focus on International Women’s Day of celebrating the achievements of women, we’re proud to shine a spotlight on them.

Senior carer Shirley Wood who works in our Middleton Gardens Supported Living care service has been part of the Middleton Hall team for an impressive 43 years and fellow Supported Living Senior Carer Christine Fishburn has worked for a similarly stunning 38 years of unbroken service.

Christine said: “I have enjoyed my thirty-eight years working in various positions and departments and I have seen huge changes over the years, all for the better. I also enjoy seeing the residents and my colleagues. Middleton Hall has been, and still remains, a big part of my life.”

Housekeeper in Middleton Grove’s apartments with care support, Vanessa Holland, has worked at Middleton Hall for over 36 years and another member of the Housekeeping team, Barbara Abbott, for 29 years.

Also in Middleton Grove, Deputy Manager Joanne Watson has worked here for 29 years. She commented: “I started here on a six week government scheme when I was seventeen and was then taken on. I left to have a baby and extended my leave but I came back. I’m 56 and now I am a deputy manager.

“Middleton Hall have been good to me. Five years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I had to take time off to get him through it, Middleton Hall supported me and let me put my NVQ on hold until I was ready to do it again. I can’t thank Middleton Hall enough.”

The Manager of our Middleton Gardens residential care service, Julie Binks, has been with Middleton Hall for over 28 years, having started working here when she was 14 years old, albeit not full time then!

Reflecting on her career Julie said: “It’s been a great joy to work in care, especially at Middleton Hall, which has been at the forefront of ground-breaking changes in social care and dementia care.” 

Operations Director Lesley Henderson has been at the helm of the Middleton Hall business for over 25 years, working alongside Executive Chair/Founder Trustee Jeremy Walford to steer the growth and success of Middleton Hall Retirement Village.

She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my many years at Middleton Hall and feel very lucky to have been part of the transition from Middleton Hall in the 1990s to what we have become today. There has never been a dull moment, I have met and got to know some lovely people throughout my time here, both residents and Co-owners, and I have enjoyed the diversity of my role.

“Middleton Hall has always been about the people and everyone has always pulled together to make sure that we are protecting and helping the people that are in our care to thrive. I’m very proud to be part of this team.”  

Operations Director Lesley Henderson and Care Director Colin Inglis with the 2021 Care Home Awards ‘Best Response to Covid-19’ plaque

Senior Carer in our Middleton Court higher dependency residential care service, Terry Hook, has been part of our team for 23 years and Middleton Grove Senior Carer Karen Coltman for 21 years.

Middleton Hall’s Head of Care & Quality Debby Lamont, who, along with Julie Binks, made the news at the end of 2019 by being amongst the first people in the world to have the Covid-19 vaccine, has been at Middleton Hall for 21 years.

Debby said: “Since I started with the company in 2000, I could see the vision of developing a unique thriving community where older people choose to come and live as a lifestyle choice and I am proud to have been a part of the journey.

“No two days here are the same. I have learned so much from the experiences and stories of residents who live here, and it is wonderful to work with a team that have people at the centre of what they do and are committed to making a difference.

Debby added: “As you get older, what you consider to be ‘old’ changes. Middleton Hall embraces this by seeing the person and their life history first which enables us to provide highly personalised support and care.”

Debby Lamont receives the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in December 2019 (Image: Ian Cooper / Teesside Live)

Co-owners who have reached the 20 year mark include Middleton Grove Personal Assistant Carol Twist and HR Coordinator Carolyn Howe.

Managing Director Suzanne Graham said: “We have an amazing team at Middleton Hall Retirement Village and International Women’s Day is a perfect opportunity for us to pay special tribute to all the women who work here and to also highlight those who have achieved an incredible 20 years or more of service.”

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people.

To find out more about joining the Middleton Hall Retirement Village team click HERE

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