FELLOW members of staff, residents and friends paid tribute to the dedicated service of long standing Shaw healthcare assistant Ann Budd when they gathered to say goodbye to her in Petworth last week.
It more was than 30 years since Ann had decided to spend her working life looking after elderly people and she said she had no regrets.
Among those who attended her retirement party at Rotherlea in Dawtrey Road, Petworth was Alun Thomas, who is chairman of Shaw healthcare Group Ltd.
He told Ann he had decided to visit the home and attend her special party as he had heard of her dedicated work and wanted to thank her personally.
He presented her with a bouquet of flowers and told her: “I heard about you and wanted to come and thank you for your dedication to care services in Sussex, well done and thank you”.
Ann started work at the tender age of 14 when she left school and began working at Wiston House in Steyning.
It was here she learned many of the skills of her trade while she in training at the house serving government officials.
She said; “It was either go to work or go back to school. I wanted to work as I didn’t much like school.
“I have some lovely memories to treasure from my working life”
She moved into caring for elderly people in the l970s when she joined West Sussex County Council and began working in care homes in Steyning and then in Midhurst.
She was one of the founder staff members who opened Rother House home for the elderly in Midhurst.
The home closed in 2008 and has since been pulled down to make way for the car park at the new Midhurst Rother College behind Lamberts Lane.
She was once again on the team when staff opened the new purpose built Rotherlea Care Home in Petworth.
She said most of her working life had revolved around kitchen work and cooking for the elderly and vulnerable people in the residential homes.
She told colleagues she intended to enjoy her retirement and spend time with her family and friends.