‘Larger than life’ care home housekeeper given memorable dance send-off after retiring

Carol Hannan (right) receives her cake from home manager Anna Wojkowiak. Picture: Kingsley Healthcar

Carol Hannan (right) receives her cake from home manager Anna Wojkowiak. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare - Credit: Archant

Staff at a Norfolk care home came up with a “fitting send-off” for their colleague by taking part in an internet dance craze on her last day at work.

Staff at Downham Grange and Carol Hannan doing the Doing the Jerusalema. Picture: Kingsley Healthcar

Staff at Downham Grange and Carol Hannan doing the Doing the Jerusalema. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare - Credit: Archant

Carol Hannan, former head of housekeeping at Downham Grange nursing home in Downham Market, was given a unique farewell after she decided to take early retirement.

Staff at the Clackclose Road care home said it was quite a challenge to think of a fitting send-off for the “larger than life character” but stepped up to the occasion to ensure a memorable last day for their much-loved colleague.

Instead of receiving the “normal” farewell cake and gifts presentation, the 61-year-old was also honoured by taking part in the Jerusalema dance challenge, which has been described as a “never to be forgotten” way of ending her 15 years’ service at the Kingsley Healthcare-run home.

Mrs Hannan, a past winner at the Kingsley Healthcare Awards, said: “When I started work here it was a little house with 22 bedrooms. After Kingsley bought it they built a new home around it.


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“Downham Grange, with its 62 bedrooms, was finally opened in 2013 - our inner courtyard garden is where the old house once stood.

“It was sad leaving the old house but it was an exciting time fitting out the new home. I was involved in bringing in the new furniture.”

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The 61-year-old said she decided to retire because of the “very physical job” and was struggling these days to get down under the beds.

She said: “I love it here, it has been like my family, my second home.

“When Covid is over, it will be nice to come back and see my residents and colleagues.”

Speaking about her happy memories at the home, she said the one that stuck with her was a special visit from Prince William via an air ambulance around four years ago.

“We joked that Prince William might be the pilot and then he just walked through the door,” she added.

She said she would also never forget the kindness of everyone at Kingsley when her husband died last year.

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