Well-known charity volunteer and Northumberland care worker Mary Robinson, MBE, recently stepped down from her role and retired, after almost 25 years of service.
Mary worked with us at Helping Hands Community Care for over two decades, providing care to hundreds of people across West Northumberland. During that time, we believe she made around 50,000 home visits and travelled over 43,000 miles.
Early in May, we also said farewell to Sylvia McBrien, our specialist services manager, who had dedicated more than 25 years with Helping Hands. Her retirement was marked with an office reception at our Cramlington branch followed by a shindig with friends, service users and close family at Seaton Terrace Club, Seaton Delaval.
Long-time colleague Alison Dickson, branch manager East Northumberland, said: “It was an emotional day. We had worked together for around 30yrs. Sylvia was a real character who was well-liked by colleagues and service users and will be greatly missed.”
Meanwhile, Mary, 74, from Hexham, celebrated her long length of service surrounded by her colleagues who organised an afternoon tea for her on April 25.
Nicola Taylor, branch manager for West Northumberland, said: “Mary has been a highly valued colleague and a friend to many while she has worked for Helping Hands, so I really wanted to organise something special before she left us to enjoy her retirement.
“Not only has she made an impact on the staff she worked with but our service users and their families as well. Mary has always been a very selfless person, who was always willing to go the extra mile to help others, which made her a great home carer. After all these years with us, she deserves some well-earned time to herself.”
Dozens of colleagues paid tribute to Mary, with one colleague dubbing her as ‘’Mrs Helping Hands’’ and describing her as an inspiration.
Alongside her role as a home carer, Mary has also been a key part of her community. She was awarded an MBE in 2012 for her services to the Red Cross, after volunteering for more than 1,000 hours a year