A BARRY nursing home has celebrated 25 years in the caring business and the 100th anniversary of the building both staff and residents inhabit.

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Sarah Rochira praised the dedication of College Fields Nursing staff on her recent visit where she also presented long-service awards.

Sarah presented awards to 16 staff, including an employee who has worked at College Fields since the first day it opened.

She said the longevity of staff helped to illustrate the warm environment created for the 65 residents, who vary in age from 52 to 104 years old and have significant care needs, with only two being able to walk.

The visit formed part of the Commissioner’s Engagement Roadshow, which met with more than 5,400 people at 180 events across Wales in 2013.

Sarah said: “It is important to remember that places like College Fields are people’s homes and residents need stability. The long-term service of staff helps to illustrate the community spirit built up here and shows that residents are regarded as friends and this is indeed their home.”

College Fields was opened by Mike Kemp in 1989 and he runs the home alongside his wife Rachel, who has been the matron for 20 years. Every five years they give long service awards, with the event attended by more than 150 people.

Rachel said: “We are involved in very technical nursing, giving 24-hour care to people with a wide variety of needs. The awards day is a way of rewarding staff and celebrating with residents and their families.

“All but two of the residents are from the Barry area and many find they already know some of the staff when they arrive. It is a real community home for the area.”

Awards for 25-year service were given to chef Sheila Dodd, deputy matron Ann Gore and housekeepers Maria Everett, Julie Lewis and Jenny Morris, who worked the first shift on the very first day College Fields opened.

Matron Rachel Kemp received an award for 20 years’ service, along with diversional therapist Pam Foley and care assistant Laurence Richards.

Deputy chef Claire Swarts and senior care assistant Sian Kedward were recognised for 15-year service.

Awards were also given to floor managers Rhian Evans-Cooper and Simi Matthews, nurses Mary Tomeldan and Tessy Thomas and senior care assistants Chris Coslett and Richard Tomeldan, who have been at College Fields for ten years.