Kingsley staff undaunted by the Beast from the East

2 Mar

Staff at Brooke House care home, in Brooke, have gone to heroic marathon efforts to keep the home operating safely during the big freeze.

With the village cut off by snow drifts and many staff unable to get into work, manager Hayley Hirst and key members of her team have been on a marathon shift starting when the blizzards began on Wednesday morning.

Mrs Hirst, 45, who lives at Horstead, near Coltishall, said: “I arrived at 11am on Wednesday because the journey took me four hours in the snow.

“I have been here ever since with my deputy manager Sue Manning, senior support worker Claire Selby and domestic Tracey Fairman.

“Other members of staff have been walking more than two miles in the snow from Poringland to get in. One of those, our chef Paul Newson, has been carrying supplies of potatoes with him. Domestic Joanne Castleton has also been making that journey.”

Mrs Hirst said they had been ordering meat from the village butcher Frank Spurgeon to top up supplies.

She said: “My husband Adrian managed to get through in his four-wheel drive car yesterday with some other supplies.

“We have just been dozing in the lounge when we can. Six staff are not able to make it in today so we won’t be getting home any time soon – maybe it will be Sunday or Monday.”

In the meantime, they had been having fun building a giant snowman.

“We have more than 1ft of snow here and there are drifts up to 5ft,” she said.

Staff at other Kingsley Healthcare homes across the country have been showing the same commitment.

At Yaxley House, near Eye, domestic assistant Simon Parker arrived at work after a two hour hike, saying: “You do what you have to do to get to work and do your job.”

At Allonsfield House, Campsea Ash, near Woodbridge, deputy manager Diane Wood got stuck in the snow on her drive into work – but walked for over an hour to get in from the village of Debach.

Meanwhile, Myra Wysoca and Anya Zawadkza took three hours driving in, trying all roads until they got through from Leiston.

Kelly Hart was off duty but wrapped up and walked in, while Maria Martin who was on a day off, came in and cooked as the cook could not get in.

At Kingsley’s homes in Dorset, which felt the blast of Storm Emma, senior support worker Nicola Turner walked seven miles from Portland to get into work for her night shift at Queen Charlotte in Weymouth.

And at Highcliffe Nursing Home, near Christchurch, administrator Domini Beniston managed to drive into work after her sons gallantly cleared a way through the snow from their house.

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