Pride in professionalism: A message of thanks

Dear All,

As I am sure we can all agree, these past months have been extraordinary times to be living through. People the world over have, by necessity, become accustomed to adopting new strategies to deal with the devastating effects coronavirus has had on our way of life. Therefore, it is with enormous pride that I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to my incredible colleagues, here at The Old Rectory, who have displayed – and continue to display – such high levels of professionalism in the face of adversity. I am filled with admiration for the resilience and degree of commitment shown by each and every member of staff as they go about their daily tasks with a care and devotion to duty that is second to none.

I would also like to thank our wonderful residents for their patience and understanding during this difficult period as we take every precaution necessary on their behalf to minimise risk. It has been challenging getting used to new ways of working but, as a result, I am delighted to report our ongoing success in keeping everyone safe.

As you might imagine, this constantly evolving health emergency has understandably left everyone feeling anxious at times. The safety and well-being of residents is always our primary concern, so it is has been doubly reassuring to receive the unwavering support of the directors and board who have held weekly review meetings to monitor the situation and ensure we continue to follow Government guidelines and best practice in our rigorous safety procedures.

Yet, despite the difficulties of lockdown life, we have still found time for a little light relief from the gloom of Covid-19. Our gardener, Paul, mowed a lovely, large heart into the garden lawn to welcome residents’ families when visiting finally resumed, and we had an entertaining visit from our friend and neighbour Will Shepherd – husband of the local vicar – who sang to residents through the patio doors from his socially distanced ‘stage’ in the gardens.

I am grateful too for the countless letters, messages, and gifts we have received from residents’ families and the wider community in general. It has been heart-warming to receive your support at this difficult time and has proved an important fillip to us all.

Now, as we slowly-but-surely edge towards the ‘new norm’, we can begin to reintroduce our activities programme – albeit, for now, in smaller, socially-distanced groups – and look forward to returning to something approaching our familiar life at The Old Rectory, just as soon as it is safe to do so.

The ever-present sense of being part of an extended family – feeling easy and relaxed in each other’s company – has not been eradicated by the virus, and in the weeks and months ahead it is this that will help keep our spirits high as we look to the future.

Indeed, it is that ‘togetherness’ in shared experiences that makes life at The Old Rectory so special, and I sincerely hope we will soon be able to share that with you all again, as we have done so in the past.

Best wishes

Harriet Sugdon

Registered Manager, The Old Rectory