Brendoncare says farewell to Sharon, retiring after 30 years

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: July 11, 2023

Brendoncare has bid a sad farewell to Sharon Calver, who has retired after working for us for an incredible 30 years and 10 months.



Before her last day on Friday (7th July), Sharon took time out from her busy schedule as wellbeing coordinator at Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill to talk about some of the highlights and challenges during her long career.  She began as a carer at The Old Parsonage in Otterbourne later becoming a wellbeing coordinator there.

“I was working in a cook shop in Southampton at the time that my auntie had a brain tumour. Mum and I used to go over to her home to give my uncle a day off from caring for her. She then went into a hospice. There, I saw what the carers and nurses were doing and that made me think I would like to do that.

“My mum was a cook at Brendoncare’s The Old Parsonage. My sister in law and her mother also worked there.  They said there were some hours going for a carer. I got an interview and got the job!

“I wanted to do caring. However, there was a lady, who came in from the village to play cards and games with the residents once a week. I decided I would stay on after my shift and do it for a couple of hours each week.

“We used to have a lot of coffee mornings at The Old Parsonage, entertainment once or twice a month including piano and violin players, also Winchester College pupils and trips out a couple of times a month.

“There were also summer and Christmas fetes. I remember when we had a marquee in the garden for 100 people to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

“When we knew we were coming to Otterbourne Hill, we were very excited. I had about four or five visits to the site, the second one when it was just a building site, then it was like visiting a hotel as everything was clean and in its place.

“There have been so many highlights but one very special one was when I was asked to represent Brendoncare at the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday parade in London. I felt very honoured to do this and I have a special photo album at home, which includes the piece I wrote about the day. I was even on TV and in the national newspapers!

“I also had an audience with HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh, Brendoncare’s Patron, when she officially opened Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill. I also received the keys for Otterbourne Hill once the building was completed. When I was at The Old Parsonage, I was presented with an award by Pete Goss, the round the world yachtsman who rescued another yacht in trouble. That was very special.

“Brendoncare has been part of my life for nearly half of my life. It has been a pleasure and privilege to say I work for Brendoncare. I am leaving with a heavy heart. I am excited, anxious, pleased and sad all at the same time.

“Brendoncare has always supported me professionally and personally. Everyone has always been so kind and generous.

“Now I am retiring, I am going to go swimming. I have also treated myself to some new walking boots so I can go out and do a loop along the river, in the New Forest. Or I will take myself off to Lee on the Solent, people watch, take a book. I like all the simple things in life. I don’t need to be taken to the Ritz for afternoon tea!

“But who knows. I might come back sometime as a volunteer!”