After working the past 12 Christmases, Sue Ferry, a care assistant at Dene Holm Residential Home in Northfleet, is looking forward to spending her first Christmas Day for 12 years with her family.
“This year will be my 13th Christmas working at Dene Holm, it’s always a lot of fun,” says Sue. “We have a traditional Christmas with gifts in the morning, a turkey lunch and films and tipples in the afternoon. Some of our residents don’t have any family so we are their family now. I think it’s just so important to give the residents a happy family Christmas, particularly as for some this could possibly be their last.
“We are very lucky to have such a dedicated team of staff here, who never complain about working Christmas and are always happy to be here. This is their Christmas too so it’s important that they enjoy themselves and that they are working the festive season in a happy environment.
“Before I worked at Dene Holm I was an assistant manageress at a hotel, so I’ve always worked Christmas, my family don’t really know any different! My children are in their twenties now so I never minded volunteering to work Christmas Day so that those with young children could spend the day with their families, then we’d have our celebration before I went to work or on Boxing Day.
“This year it’ll be my first Christmas Day at home with my family for several years so my daughter has requested a traditional day with turkey and all the trimmings, I’ve even bought new dining chairs for the occasion!”
Chris Hutchinson, home manager of Dene Holm commented: “We have a great team here at Dene Holm, no-one ever complains about working Christmas as they are dedicated to making the holiday special for the residents. I come in on Christmas morning with my family and we help to serve lunch to the residents and their relatives who are visiting, we really are one big family!”