Andrea Pearson is a Band 7 Occupational Therapist and a very much respected colleague in our Stroke Team. Andrea was one of the interviewers of six, who kindly gave me my job twelve years ago and has taught me so much. Andrea has been with us and working in the hospital for exactly 32 years!!! Today she left and is starting a new chapter in her life. We have been through a rollercoaster together! So many changes have happened in our service, even in the short time I have been in post! When I started, I was one of only three Therapy Assistants (we have many more now) and we didn't have the Stroke Community Team either. Patients were kept longer for rehab and we had time to do more recreational activities like cooking activities etc. Things have changed so much in a short space of time, so they must have changed massively for Andrea over 32 years!!! Her knowledge, professionalism and presence will be greatly missed by us all – end of an era.
Suzy organised a fabulous big iced cake, which was piped with "Sorry You Are Leaving Andrea" and various green decorations (OT's uniform is green!). A beautiful bouquet of flowers was presented, a brilliantly designed card (lots of pics of Andrea and team montage) that Cilla had organised and a very heavy stone bird bath/sundial, which is being delivered straight to Andrea's home. Colleagues had all made a big effort in decorating the office with bunting and Bake Off things (Andrea loves Bake Off obviously!) and balloons and other personal presents were given too. I bought Andrea "Nadiya Bakes" and a box of shortbread, plus a card. Andrea loves shortbread and loves baking.
Someone senior from the hospital (can't remember who) came to the presentation at 12.30pm and said some very kind words and Tim (Senior OT for rehab) did a lovely speech and recalled things past and present, as did Andrea afterwards and understandably became a bit emotional – it helped enormously having to wear masks, as they hid any emotions people were feeling! Photos were taken – all wearing masks, so didn't look brilliant, but we have to follow the rules! Then we enjoyed a fantastic lunch, all brought in by colleagues, with some delicious baked goods, including Scott's extremely yummy cheesecake and Linda's little cheese biscuits, Emily's home-made cheese scones, Keri's chocolate brownies, Bev's quiches and my Tiramisu + Victoria Sandwich etc etc. We have far too many good cooks in our team! When I checked the pager, there were no mega's to go and see, so stayed and helped to rearrange furniture etc and clear as much up as possible, whilst my colleagues continued working.