We’re celebrating our residents’ inspirational stories and accomplishments this International Women’s Day. We have many residents who made a positive impact in our communities, when they were young, and also as they continue into their later life.
We’re taking a moment to capture some amazing stories and celebrate the difference our residents have made to others and society. Happy International Women's Day!
Evelyn, 92 at Oakwood Court Care Home, Haywards Heath
Evelyn has always loved children and become a qualified nursery nurse at the age of 18. She trained at St Christopher’s Nursery training college in Tunbridge Wells and soon became a private nanny, helping families with their new born babies until they reached school age.
“I loved every minute of my job, living in with the family, supporting the parents and watching the children grow. I worked around Haywards Heath and did this job until I had a family of my own in my thirties.
I was supportive to the mothers, I looked after the children day and night. I slept near to the children in case they needed me during the twilight hours and I got used to having alot less sleep. I loved singing nursery rhymes and entertaining the little ones. I didn’t have to cook, my focus was looking after the children.
I remember a time when I took two young brothers, Christopher and Richard, to a park in Hove and after having a good play, I lost one of the boys. We looked high and low and I was very worried. Suddenly the lost little boy jumped out at me and he’d been hiding in a tree trunk! I was not best pleased!
My job was very rewarding and I have some very fond memories.”
Jacqui, 82 at Bourne Court, Hastings
(Photo credit: RNLI / Hastings and Jacqui)
Having been born in Aldershot, Jacqui, 82, first moved to Hastings at the age of six. Jacqui’s grandfather came from the area and growing up on the East Sussex coast, she fell in love with the seaside, admiring the fishermen and people working on the seas.
Jacqui first volunteered with the RNLI in Hastings as a shop assistant in 1995, and a year later she joined the fundraising committee, which she then went on to Chair between 2000 – 2006. Jackie received her bronze medal for over ten years’ service in 2006.
In 2010 Jacqui became shop manager (a post she still holds today) and in September last year was proud to receive her long service award. In 2018, Jackie’s work was recognised and she was honoured to attend the Queen’s garden tea party at Buckingham Palace.
You can usually find Jacqui working in the shop every Friday afternoon and alternate Sundays. Jacqui also usually pops in once or twice a month to take a stock take and place shop orders and she’s looking forward to 12 April when hopefully the shop will be able to reopen.
“I worked in retail all my life, including John Lewis for 16 years. I thoroughly enjoy it and it’s a great honour.” Jacqui’s endeavours at the RNLI include organising coffee mornings and quizzes at the local Angling Club. We hope those days will be returning soon Jacqui!
The RNLI rely on donations and the generosity of individuals to keep them going. The RNLI shops are a vital part of this effort and of course cannot operate without the skill and commitment of volunteers like Jacqui who help to save lives at sea. Jacqui, we at Sussex Housing & Care offer you our thanks, admire you for your efforts over the years and congratulate you on your richly deserved award. Donations can be made at www.rnli.org
Anne, The Rowans, Crowborough
Anne can these days be found attending to her flowers and plants in Crowborough, but back in the late 1990s, she ran a group for seniors called Golden Years for about five years. Anne used to organise open days for local people, where she would organise talks with members of the community such as the police and toddler groups.
Anne was later made Chair of a steering group for a new community centre built in Hailsham, which took about three years to build and Anne says was “an amazing experience.”
While at The Rowans, Anne has enjoyed helping scheme manager, Wendy, run coffee mornings where they have received talks from the Mayor, a doctor from East Grinstead hospital who made false eyes and running quizzes for residents.
When not attending to the garden and patio, Anne likes listening to old favourites such as Jack Jones and reading. Anne says she is looking forward to “attending live music concerts again, visiting the coast in Eastbourne and looking forward to a long overdue catch up with my sons in Pevensey Bay and Hailsham.”