14 years, and still not ‘Man down’ – how to stay on your feet in public service.

Today was my last day of work at Ridgeway.


That’s my office on the middle floor to the right.  Ridgeway was once a care home for adults with learning disabilities and then changing standards of care made it unsuitable in the early 1990s.  Different children’s and adult social care teams have made it their home for the past 20 years.  It is entered through this back door;


Nothing but the best for us in public services, as you can see.

Up a flight of stairs, sign in and into our wonderful office space.


Filled with boxes full of stuff, ready for our move.  I used to sit at the desk at the back you can see on the side of the room with the window.  But then I progressed


to a shared office.

We like to meet targets in public services.


I said before that our building used to be a care home.  Well one advantage of working in such a location is that it has multiple small bedroom sized offices.


This is where I wield power, take telephone calls, reply to emails, and drink 6-7 cups of tea a day.   And mostly whilst listening to some quality material on my IPod.  Sometimes I am so enchanted by a track that I freeze and look out the window and allow a bit of audio pleasure to sink into my day.

My colleagues like to know where I am, so here is the whiteboard opposite Sam’s office where I have to write where I am if I’m out of office.


Nowadays we’re all modern and have an electronic calendar too, so even our colleagues in Eastbourne know our whereabouts.

And if I fall down or am assaulted in the line of caring for the community I have one of these bloody lovely things;


Complete with instructions on how to use, so technically adept am I.

This will alert a call centre in Yorkshire that I am horizontal.  And they will call me.  And then my manager.

I don’t know how I’d stay safe without it….

As today was our last day I nipped round to Domino’s Pizza and enjoyed a shared lunch.


And a slice of Ridgeway cake lovingly cooked by a member of the team downstairs.

I’m going to miss the building.  But mostly I’m going to miss this litle bit of Cyprus in Hastings.


Which provides me with a nice supply of fresh figs at the end of August and early September.  They are an acquired taste.  And just so I have them all to myself I have done nothing to share my love of this wonderful fruit with my colleagues.

A special guest to our last day at Ridgeway was Olivia.


And she brought her mum along too, that’s Michelle who’s currently on maternity leave.  You’re never short of female company working in social services.  And that suits me fine.  But they could improve their knowledge of the offside rule a little.

14 years is a long time.

Just ask any 13 year old.

Over a quarter of my lifetime.

As the child of an immigrant and a disrupted childhood I find moving quite a difficult process.

Monday is the start of a new adventure.




















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