After 35 years of getting up at 4.15am and 28 years of working on Christmas Day during his 50 years’ NHS service, Catering Stores Manager Geoff Hateley is looking forward to taking a break.
Geoff retired from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust today (Friday 6 January) after his half century with the NHS after enjoying a rousing send-off from his colleagues whose gifts included a fabulous hand-crafted cake – complete with a couple of timely reminders as decorations.
The father-of-four started his NHS career as an apprentice chef, a role he progressed in and really enjoyed.
“Thirty-five years ago, I moved into food stores in catering as manager overseeing food and drink and medical drink orders and that’s where I’ve spent my working life ever since,” he said.
“It’s the people who have made the job for me,” said the 65-year-old who lives in Norton Canes with wife Angie. “There have been some hard times but when you can rely on your team and have a good team that gets you through.”
Great grandfather Geoff is looking forward to staying in bed longer every morning. In spite of his very early starts he can only recall oversleeping twice.
“I have been getting up at 4.15am to be out the door an hour later and won’t miss those early starts,” he said. “But I might have to have a word with our cocker spaniel as she licks my face every morning to tell me it’s time to get up! She’ll have to stop that.”
A keen gardener, Geoff is looking forward to having more free time but warns he’s only taking a break. “I shall have a think about what to do next and might retrain to work in a different area,” he said.
Jane Longden, Divisional Director of Estates and Facilities, added: “We send Geoff on his way with our huge thanks for his 50 years’ service to the NHS and generations of Walsall patients. We hope he does get those well-deserved lie-ins and wish him all the best.”