Commitment of care home staff is hailed

Hayley Hirst, front right, with her staff at Brooke House care home, in Brooke. Picture: Courtesy of

Hayley Hirst, front right, with her staff at Brooke House care home, in Brooke. Picture: Courtesy of Kingsley Healthcare - Credit: Archant

Kindhearted staff at a care home have gone to marathon efforts to keep the home operating safely during the big freeze.

With the village of Brooke cut off by snow drifts, and with many staff unable to get into work, Brooke House care home manager Hayley Hirst and key members of her team have embarked on a lengthy shift – which started when the blizzards began on Wednesday morning (February 28) and will continue into this weekend.

Mrs Hirst, 45, who lives at Horstead, near Coltishall, said: “I arrived at 11am on Wednesday because the journey took me four hours in the snow.

“I have been here ever since, with my deputy manager Sue Manning, senior support worker Claire Selby and domestic Tracey Fairman.

“Other members of staff have been walking more than two miles in the snow from Poringland to get in,” Mrs Hirst added.

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“One of those, our chef Paul Newson, has been carrying supplies of potatoes with him. Domestic assistant Joanne Castleton has also been making that journey.”

Mrs Hirst said they had been ordering meat from the village butcher, Frank Spurgeon, to top up supplies.

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She said: “My husband Adrian managed to get through in his four-wheel drive car yesterday with some other supplies.

“We have just been dozing in the lounge when we can. Six staff are not able to make it in today so we won’t be getting home any time soon – maybe it will be Sunday or Monday.”

In the meantime, they had been having fun building a giant snowman.

“We have more than 1ft of snow here and there are drifts up to 5ft,” Mrs Hirst said.

Staff at other Kingsley Healthcare homes across Norfolk and Suffolk have been showing the same commitment.

At Yaxley House, near Eye, domestic assistant Simon Parker arrived at work after a two hour hike, saying: “You do what you have to do to get to work and do your job.”

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