A group of care home workers with more than a century’s combined experience in the sector have been recognised at a celebration at The Martlets in East Preston.

Eight staff members and a volunteer were recognised for the support they’ve provided residents at The Martlets over recent years. The team members were presented with gifts and a certificate for their achievement by East Preston Councillor, John Gunston.

Local volunteer Sheila King celebrated 30 years of support for the care home, while 10-year anniversary awards were given to Edna Hand and Marine Dzirkale, both support workers, as well as cook Wendy Gaunt. Support workers Adina Timis, Darren Murray, Francis Healey and Natalie Thayne were also commemorated for five years at the care home.

It was also a day of saying goodbye for The Martlets, as staff came together to thank manager Angie Douglass, who left to embark on a new venture. Earlier this year, the care home celebrated Angie’s 35 years in the care sector by hosting an afternoon tea in her honour. She will be replaced by Nicola Knightley, a registered nurse who brings more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare to the home.

Mrs Douglass said: “Having a host of familiar faces for residents and family members is important for us, as it provides comfort that the staff know in acute detail the specific, individual needs and wants of each of the residents. All of the staff recognised has proven themselves to be thoughtful and caring team players. A special thanks must be extended to Sheila, who has supported countless numbers of local, dating back to the old Martlets care home of the 1980s.

“While I’ll be sad to leave a home that has been so special to me, I know it will remain in very good hands with Nicola and the colleagues we have celebrated today.”

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Dear Relatives,

In England, the Government has just announced that visits to care homes may take place following a ‘negative Covid-19 test’. I just wanted to clarify that this relates to the new Lateral Flow Tests only. The new Lateral Flow Test (or LFT) can give a test result within 30 mins. Thus enabling us to have an accurate up-to-date Covid-19 test result from which we can either agree or decline a visit almost instantly assuming it was pre-booked.

As of today less than a handful of our homes have received these new LFT tests and as such until your particular service receives their allocated test kits then we will need to continue with the current visiting arrangements in place at your particular home.

We do hope the new tests are rolled out quickly and we are told that many homes should have them prior to Xmas however as we are not aware of when they are dispatched and where to, then all we can do is wait and let you know as soon as your service receives their allocation. Only then can we facilitate the new visiting arrangements which these tests are designed to enable.

Thank you for your continued patience. You have been incredibly supportive of our care home teams so far and we hope you do not have long to wait before you can see your loved ones in a way that we all have been longing for since the start of the pandemic.

Thank you again.

Mike Smith Chief Operating Officer