06 April 2022
A manager of young adult day services has described an exciting care career filled with opportunities as she retired after 40 years of public service.
Jeanette Davies recently said a fond farewell to service users and colleagues past and present and is keen to see a new generation of care workers enjoy an equally long and rewarding career with West Northamptonshire Council.
Having started her career at Cotswold House, Duston in 1981, she quickly became relief assistant deputy, before leaving to become a caseworker at Eleanor Lodge in Delapre.
Jeanette said one of proudest achievements was bidding for, and winning, catering and hospitality tenders for John Dryden House and County Hall. That gave 12 adults with learning difficulties gainful employment even before the opening for two more cafes in Northampton – The Kingsley Coffee Spot and Allison Gardens.
And throughout these years Jeanette completed three degrees including social working and counselling qualifications.
But her career highlight was her involvement in the setting up of Olympus Care Service which led to the Olympus Chief Executive Fiona Seymour nominating and presenting Jeanette with an outstanding achievement award.
Jeanette retired on Thursday, 31 March after enjoying a celebration at the Gladstone Resource Centre in Northampton which included colleagues past and present, family and service users.
She said: “I always thought that joining the Council was a job for life and for me it has been, with opportunities to grow and develop all the way along.
“It is so large there are countless opportunities for development or to have a change of setting.
“Terms and conditions are fair, for me the wage was enough, I did not work purely for money.
“The Council has been supportive to me. The Council does care when you are unwell or have a crisis to respond to. Clearly in 40 years I have suffered all of these and still managed to work effectively and rarely be away from work because of the flexibility I have been afforded to remain at work.
“The training opportunities are second to none and the code of conduct is clear for all."
And some final advice for anyone just starting out in a public service career, Jeanette said: “Care about the role you are in and your colleagues will respect you. And most of all, be reliable and join us because you genuinely want to work in an organisation that cares and supports others."
WNC Chief Executive Anna Earnshaw said: “The world moves so fast these days someone reaching 40 years’ service in one place is an exceptional achievement, especially in the highly challenging care sector.
“Just think about the legislation changes, the new ways of working and ever-changing budgets Jeanette has seen. To remain relevant, qualified, and passionate throughout that the time I think is an inspiration to us all.
“On behalf of the individuals, families and communities who you have helped, thank you Jeanette and we all hope you have the enjoyable retirement you deserve."
For more stories about the rewarding work available within social care in West Northamptonshire and to view the latest vacancies throughout the council, visit our Jobs and Careers page.