The new head of nursing at a dementia care centre of excellence in Caernarfon has certainly had a hair-raising start in the job.
That’s because 47-year-old Anne Jones has spent most of her time since starting at Bryn Seiont Newydd wearing some magnificent examples of facial fuzz.
The hairy appearance grew out of the fact that her new job at the home coincided with the start of this year’s Movember fundraising campaign which sees people across the UK raising cash for charity by sporting moustaches for the whole month of November.
It’s usually men who get involved by cultivating their own upper-lip ornaments but fun- loving Anne says she could see no reason why not to join in by adorning her face with a selection of stick-on whiskers.
So since the start of the month she’s been proudly showing off her new hirsute self in aid of Cancer Research UK, which is a cause close to her heart after seeing close family members and friends hit by the disease.
Up to now her false hair wearing has been sponsored to the tune of more than £300 with the donations continuing to come in.
Anne, who lives in Llandudno, said: “I know Movember is usually about men growing moustaches during November but I wanted to get involved as I’ve seen quite a few people I know affected by different sorts of cancer.
“In fact, I only recently lost my uncle to the disease and I suppose that’s what really spurred me on to take part.
“I’ve got a range of moustaches including a big droopy one of the type worn by the late Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, a ginger one and another with sideburns.
“Since the start of the month I’ve been wearing them at every opportunity, including at Bryn Seiont where they’ve caused a few laughs amongst the residents and fellow staff members.
“I’ve also been wearing them when I go out and about and even had one on when I went for a recent doctor’s appointment.
“Another place I had on the moustache was at a conference at Venue Cymru in Llandudno but I only put it on during the lunch break because I didn’t have the courage to wear it during the actual conference sessions with 300 people watching.”
Anne added: “I’ve worn my ‘taches out in the street where I find that most people tend to look away. But if I do happen to make eye contact with someone you can then explain to them what it’s all about.
“I’ve had lots of funny looks and some funny conversations and was given a £1.50 donation by a woman whose husband has had three types of cancer but is going strong. Wearing a moustache is easy compared to what others have to live with.
“I was wearing the big bushy one recently when someone told me I looked quite dapper in it. It was a compliment but it caused me a bit of concern.
“I originally set a fundraising target figure of £200 but I’ve now passed the £300 thanks to friends, my colleagues at Bryn Seiont and even strangers in the pub and the donations are still coming in through my justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Anne-Q-Jones”
Anne has spent her entire career in the caring profession and completed her training at Parkside, in her hometown of Macclesfield in Cheshire.
As a qualified nurse she worked first at a private therapy unit for the sexually abused in Macclesfield before moving on to head up a 14-bed dementia care unit in nearby Knutsford.
Later she became the manager of a home back in Macclesfield providing general nursing and dementia care services.
Following a spell as a disability assessor Anne moved over to North Wales two years ago to become a care supervisor at a Leonard Cheshire home in Colwyn Bay.
At Bryn Seiont Newydd, which was opened last year by Mario and Gill Kreft of the award-winning Pendine Park care organisation on the site of a former community hospital, Anne is in charge of a 12-strong team of nurses and also helps manager Sandra Evans to direct the activities of around 100 care practitioners.
“Bryn Seiont is a splendid place to work. It has a lovely environment and the staff are all so lovely and polite, so I’m really looking forward to my new role which I see as helping to maintain the quality of the care we provide and making improvements wherever possible,” said Anne who is married with a grown-up son and daughter.
Bryn Seiont Newydd manager Sandra Evans said: “We’re delighted to welcome Anne to the team at Bryn Seiont Newydd where she has already proved to be a great asset.
“As well as being a skilled and dedicated nurse, Anne has a fantastic sense of fun which she is putting to good use in raising money for such a worthwhile cause.”