With everything that is going on in the world today I have just remembered that its 18 years today since we purchased Hendra House.

Where have those years gone?

Hendra 18 years ago was nothing like it is today. Only 20 rooms, a building in need of massive investment, limited staff morale and a bigger challenge than either Gill or myself expected.

Having said that failure was not an option as we had made significant borrowings as well as using our house as security to make the acquisition.

Was it worth it?

Definitely yes as over the past 18 years we along with a lot of hard work, help and support from so many people have turned the home into something we can all be so proud of.

Someone asked me recently what the key was to our success and having thought for a moment I answered ?people?.

Firstly, the lovely people we have cared for over the years and their families but equally the people we employ whose passion, commitment and dedication have become even more evident over the past few weeks.

We have made friends with relatives who still support the home even though their loved ones are no longer. We have also made lasting friendships with many of our ex-staff. I feel it?s appropriate to mention and thank Judy Yapp and Lynn Starkey were here from day 1.

It has also been rewarding to see former staff members go on to achieve a professional qualification in the Health and Social Care sector and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this moment.

However, I cannot let this moment of reflection end without saying a heartfelt thank you to all our current staff, who in their individual ways contribute to making Hendra House the place it is today. And in true Hendra tradition, we will have one hell of a celebration to thank you all for your efforts once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

We would also like to thank the families of our staff members who are also making significant sacrifices to enable their loved ones to continue to work at the home.

When we are free of coronavirus and we will be, I know we will be an even stronger team, and let’s hope the country and especially the government recognise the contribution the sector has made and recognise it not as an unskilled sector, but a sector who has helped keep this country going through these difficult times.

To all of you, a heartfelt thank you for your continued support as we could not have achieved what we have done over the past 18 years without you.

Vince and Gill.