Today (Thursday 8th June 2017) marks a very special celebration for one of our employees, as our longest serving staff member reaches her 40th anniversary. Sue Allen first joined the organisation, The Edmund House Group of Homes as it was known then, straight from school as she recalls; “I was still at school and I remember one of the workers from my school was helping me to find a job; we saw the house from driving past it in Milton.” Sue joined as a Care Assistant supporting children and adults aged between 17 and 65 some of whom are still being supported by the Trust today. Over the decades, Sue has seen much development on the site starting at the original main building which housed 21 residents with male and female residents split between the floors and up to four sharing a room at a time. One of Sue’s memories from her time in the house includes the annual August holidays in North Wales; “All 21 residents went on a three week holiday every year with five staff. We would all get in a bus and off we would go.” The 1980’s saw the development of Milton village, of which Edmund Close played a pivotal role with purpose built homes built in the close and the area that is now known as The Rowans. “I remember The Rowans used to be greenhouses and an orchard was round the back before the new houses were built,” recalls Sue, “there was also a salad and vegetable garden as well as a minibus garage and the clubhouse, which we used to all use.”
The organisation benefited from the redevelopment with seven homes that were used to house the residents in smaller numbers in a supported living environment. In time the main house was demolished and replaced with semi-detached homes, all of which Sue has been a part of. A feat even more remarkable from Sue’s time with the organisation is that she has cycled to work come rain or shine for the past 35 years and has been a regular face at the Milton and Chesterton sites where she is currently based as a Domestic Assistant. “Sue was a teenager when she first came to work for The Edmund Trust, comments Ruth Pitcher, Head of Business Development. “Her good humour and readiness to share a cup of tea soon made her popular with the people we support. Over the years, she has developed really close friendships both with her colleagues and with the people we support, it is a real disaster when she takes off to Blackpool. It is really when she goes on holiday that we truly realise how much Sue actually does and all of the things that don’t get done when Sue is away. “The thing about Sue is that no matter what the mess or disruption Sue is always there to tidy up and make things clean and neat again. She never complains – just gets on with the job in hand with her usual good humour (and a cup of tea).” Sue’s manager at the Chesterton home, Sarah Calvert further emphasizes Sue’s value to the team; “Sue is very much part of the team here. She does a fantastic job in keeping the home fresh and clean, and is a lovely cheery person, with a great sense of humour. She is very important to us all.” This is echoed by staff and people the Trust supports who add; “Sue is good fun to be around. She is also very hard working and always willing to help out.” “You can always have a laugh with Sue, she is a very happy person.” “Sue helps me a lot, she keeps my room tidy, she’s is a very nice lady.” These sentiments are also reflected by Sue who enjoys the friendly feel of the organisation and regards the staff and people the Trust supports as ‘like a family.’ Recognition of Sue’s support to the organisation will be celebrated with a surprise event to mark the anniversary at her Chesterton base and will be attended by staff, members of the board and people the Trust supports, all of whom have known Sue over the years. We would like to thank Sue for all of her hard work and dedication over this time and look forward to many more years to follow.