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After 30 years with ExtraCare, this week we say goodbye and good luck to our very own Bernie Fairbrother

Joining ExtraCare an amazing 30 years ago, this week we say goodbye and good luck to our very own Bernie Fairbrother. Bernie discusses her career highlights and what it means to say goodbye to the workplace where she has spent half her life.


How was your first day at ExtraCare?
I joined CCHA as they were known then on 28th April 1992. It was a very friendly first day and the building was an old hospital ward with the managing director’s office being fitted out with plastic garden furniture.


What brought you to the role at ExtraCare?
I had worked for the GEC and car dealerships before and I was looking to work for a company that would make a difference and wasn’t focussed solely on shareholder performance.

How has your career changed and progressed over the years?
I joined ExtraCare as a finance assistant, progressing to finance administrator, management accountant, then operations finance manager. I lost my twin sister in 2017 and seven months later lost my husband, this was a very difficult time for me and I was offered the opportunity to become a management accountant again and leave behind the higher stresses. Since making the decision to retire I have been working on a project.

What are some of your favourite moments at ExtraCare?
I have had many wonderful moments during my time with ExtraCare, but the ones that really stick with me are the times I spent with residents. I went on two Calver Trust holidays and witnessed amazing determination from residents sailing, abseiling and horse riding, I have also walked away with tremendous respect for our care teams as I observed real dedication to duty and care.

How has it been navigating some of the changes in the industry over the years?
When I first joined ExtraCare we were predominantly nursing and residential care. The journey towards VSH and retirement villages has been wonderful to be a part of, watching couples being able to stay together, and single residents no longer being socially isolated and having a network of friends is truly inspirational. I feel very honoured and proud to have been a part of this changing world in adult care.

What will you miss the most?
I will miss the wonderful staff at both head office and in our locations, I have known a number of them for many years and like me they are dedicated to ExtraCare.

What are your future plans for retirement?
I have a new grandson Presley George who will be one year old at the end of May, he has bought me so much happiness that has been missing over the past few years. I will be looking after him three days per week so his mum can go back to work. I have a number of holidays and weekends away already booked for this year as I knew I needed a focus, and I will be able to spend some much needed time with my family and friends.


“The journey has been wonderful to be a part of and I have walked away with tremendous respect.”