A married couple who have devoted decades to caring for elderly people are set to retire after a combined 42 years.
Husband and wife care home workers Kevin and Pauline Healy have spent the last 20 years at Willowdene Care Home, in Victoria Road West, Hebburn.
Kevin started at the home when it opened in 1996, working weekends doing laundry duties, while Pauline started two years later, joining the domestic team for weekend work.
They both held full-time jobs elsewhere, Kevin in production at furniture retailer MFI and Pauline on a factory production line, but chose to take up positions at Willowdene out of a passion to care for the elderly.
After 10 years at the home, Pauline left her other job and started doing 16 hours a week, while caring for her elderly mother.
Kevin was at the home for 18 years before deciding four years ago to become a carer.
He said: “I wanted a challenge and had also built up rapport with the residents.”
Pauline said that they have both enjoyed their time as carers and have made lasting friendships.
She said: “We both have long and happy memories of our years at Willowdene and will sadly miss the friendships we have made with both the residents and staff.”
“There have been some challenges, of course, but we would not have changed it for the world.”
Carol Chapman, home manager at Willowdene Care Home, said: “I will sadly miss both of them and they will leave some big shoes to fill.
“Everyone here at the home wishes them well in their retirement – even though Kevin continues to work as bank staff when needed.”