Employee who has Worked at Wigmore Care Home Rogers House Since 1992 Celebrates 80th Birthday
Val Banfield started working at Rogers House 29 years ago, when it first opened its doors but despite celebrating her 80th Birthday on 14th June, she insists she’s not planning her retirement just yet.
She works three days a week and looks after her grandchildren but 80-year-old Val plans to keep it that way, despite her son’s pleas for her to slow down and consider retiring. “I like being busy,” she says, “as long as I feel well, I want to work, I had Coronavirus at Christmas and I was so grumpy not being able to do anything. I told my son I’d think about retiring after I turned 80 but even if I did, I’d come back as a volunteer!”
Val was working as a dinner lady in a nearby school when Rogers House was constructed back in the early nineties. Her husband worked for Gransdens at the time, the contractors developing the home and he told her they were looking for staff.
“I wanted a change and was looking to leave the school for various reasons, so it came at just the right time. First, I worked in the kitchen, then I became a carer, before being promoted to a senior carer role. As I got older, I moved to flexi shifts and now I’m in the domestic team.
“I think I stayed so long because I just love it here, I love being with people and I love helping them. We all get on so well and there’s not a single person I don’t like, it’s such a nice atmosphere to work in.”
Along with Care Coordinator, Lorraine Laker, Val has completed 29 years’ service for the organisation and has seen many changes in the care sector, including an increase in residents living with dementia. “The residents coming to us today need a lot more support, rather than just companionship.”
So, what does the future hold for Val? Whilst she has promised to think about retirement, it doesn’t seem to be on the cards any time soon. “If Jackie (Home Manager) wants to kick me out, that’s up to her but I don’t want to slow down yet!”