Employees recollect changes through the years at the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society
Two employees of one of the U.K.’s oldest maritime charities have been reminiscing after celebrating a collective 80 years of service at the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society.
Margaret Brazier and Anne Kasey have dedicated 50 and 30 years respectively to the Banstead based seafarers’ care home, which provides nursing care and accommodation support to elderly, sick or disabled seafarers, their widows and dependants.
During this period, both have seen numerous changes to the home including its facilities, site moves and the opening of a specialist dementia care annex as well as operational transformations.
Margaret, who recalls working alongside four CEOs during her long service with the Society, started at the charity as a junior shorthand-typist in 1962 and rose through the ranks to her current role of Executive Assistant.
She said, “Through the years there have been dramatic developments in the home, including changes in location. In 1962 there was one, men-only, care home at Erith, Kent. In 1965, a ladies’ care home opened to commemorate the centenary.”
The key changes Margaret has witnessed include the introduction of outsourced services. She has also seen changes in pension funds, a move away from salaries paid by check and advancements in technology to computers and word processing replacing such things as carbon copies, liquid-fill photocopiers and the continuous changes in printers like the Gestenter and Lithograph, all helping to improve services and efficiency. Margaret recalls that when she first started all paper and files had to be torn up until the introduction of shredders.
Care home Manager Anne Kasey, joined in 1983 as a State Enrolled Nurse (SEN) when Belvedere was sited at Zachary Merton convalescent home in Holly Lane, Banstead.
The accommodation comprised a 12 bedded ward, plus two, three and five bed wards, with communal bathroom facilities. Individual rooms were on the first floor of the home, but these were for independent residents. Today all the bedrooms are single rooms with en suite facilities.
Anne Kasey reflects on the changes at the home: “In 1983, there were only three female residents at the home who were Wrens or Stewardesses; now 50 percent of the residents are female. My first Christmas day on duty saw only one visitor for the whole home. The staff were the only family most people had.
“One of the biggest changes for us has been the improvement of equipment, particularly when moving the residents. Hoists, beds, mattresses, baths, chairs, slide sheets, the list is endless. Training has greatly improved throughout the years and is now available to all staff that work in the care home. We now have a dedicated dementia unit, to provide support to those with this debilitating condition.”
The Chief Executive of the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt said, “Anne and Margaret have made a huge contribution to the Society. The dedication and commitment they have shown over the years is something of which we are extremely proud. They have seen, and brought about, many changes during their time and I, and all in the Society, pay tribute to and are extremely thankful for, all their hard work.”