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as East Twickenham. Each visit lasted two hours and there was 15 minutes travelling time between each client.''
that damn fire'', said Frances, rolling her eyes''. I didn't have the knack. .
observed when appropriate. Sometimes someone would say, Oh, do call me by my first name but if they didn't we stuck to Mr or Mrs.'' Sometimes housebound pensioners had an extra treat to brighten the
Home helps brought dignity to their service From Richmond and Twickenham Times
We made friends. I still see some of the clients'. One lady called me Blossom' because of my surname.'' Mary remembered that, despite the intimate nature of their work, the formalities were
Mary laughed: I had to check the tortoise for one lady I went to. I had to go and find it in the garden and stand and watch while it ate a banana. She was a lovely lady who lived by the river in
Whitton reader Frances May brought us a page from the Richmond and Twickenham Times that she had unearthed while having a clear out at home in Grasmere Avenue.
taken an extra sleeping pill. They managed to rouse him and the first thing he was worried about was, Mary hasn't had her cup of New Balance Running Shoes Green
The brown and frayed paper was dated September 10, 1976 and featured the photograph below which shows Frances, far right, in a group of home helps honoured at a civic reception in York House.
arriving week in and week out.
food for someone I had to watch to make sure they ate it.'' Health and safety regulations were in place although perhaps not so strenuously applied. Even so, home helps weren't supposed to wash walls
Her original contract stipulated an hourly rate of two and sixpence farthing. (just over 12 1/2p). The pay is much better now, she assured us, and we got six weeks' holiday a year. At the start we
day. I used to take my children to see them'', said Frances, and one old lady used to collect farthings for them for Christmas''.
I used to take a lady for a walk when she fancied a bit of fresh air. I would make a cup of tea and stay for a chat. You weren't supposed to, but I saw it as part of the service that was doing
The situations they found themselves in could vary from the funny to the poignant rescuing the savings of someone who had stuffed his savings into a toilet roll and put them in the bin and onI went to a gentleman and I couldn't get in. I couldn't make him hear me. I had to get the police and they came with New Balance Orange Trainers vans and dogs. In the end they had to break in and he was fast asleep. He had
Personal care was also involved at times. Helping someone to get dressed and washed for instance. You can't do that in 15 minutes. You can't hurry elderly people'', noted Frances. If I prepared
down, move furniture, turn mattresses, nor clean woodwork or wash nets.
She retains fond memories of her ladies and gentlemen' and her workmates. Indeed, she came in to our office with her friend Mary Acres who retired after 27 years. The two meet up regularly withI became a home help, working Monday to Friday, because it fitted in with the children. Most of us did'', recalled Frances. We worked in teams with colours as names, blue, red etc and our clients'
had two weeks after 12 months' service''.
just as much good as the housework and we had the time.
The two women remember regular calls in Whitton, Heathfield, Twickenham and as far New Balance Khaki
and housework filled more time than in today's labour saving times, but the home helps never forgot the personal touches and extra little jobs which often made life worthwhile for theirWe used to go to the launderette, do a bit of cooking and clean the oven. But my first job of the session was to bring in two or three buckets of coal and light the fire and I just couldn't light
tea''. The police came out and said, For heavens sake, get in there
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were mostly within walking distance because many women didn't have cars''.
Twickenham.'' Home helps, no less than those they helped, valued routine. They were aware that vulnerable men and women gained confidence in continuity, knowing and building trust in the same person
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