Kath Stokes has been working as an ancillary team member since YMCA Burton since 1988. She has helped change the lives of hundreds of residents and rough sleepers who have come through its doors. She joined the Charity shortly after it opened the first Housing Project in the town for young people called Milton House.
During the time of Kath’s employment, she has witnessed the creation of the Reconnect building being constructed and the building of George Williams house with 20 units of accommodation, bringing the total of self-contained flats from 20, to now 71. Kath also saw four furniture shops added to the organisation and remembers when there were no computers, and everything was handwritten including the individual rent books. Kath says: “Thirty-three years have gone by so quickly. I have met so many wonderful residents, staff and volunteers. I have watched residents grow in confidence through the support the YMCA offers and see them move on to have an independent life. It puts a smile on my face to know I have always been there to lend a listening ear and a reassuring smile when needed. I am going to miss all the friends I have made over the years; I count myself lucky to have met some real interesting characters and also made some lifelong friendships too.”
Maxine Bennet, Housing Manager said; “I have worked with Kath for three years and she is such an integral part of the team. Her reassuring smile, brilliant sense of humour and incredible work ethic will be sorely missed and we wish her lots of love for her retirement.”
One resident George said “I just want to thank Kath for all the years she’s been at the YMCA for tenants like me. She has taught me a lot. I hope she has a great future and a lot of rest with people looking after her. “
Kath also recalls when Paul Laffey Chief Executive joined the YMCA 22 years ago.
Paul said: “Trustees, staff, volunteers and residents are very grateful for the long service Kath Stokes has given to the YMCA. We had the whole staff team come together on Zoom to give her a great send off. She has been a tremendous and dedicated team member. Having worked as an ancillary member of the team, Kath kept our buildings clean, tidy and safe. She developed excellent working relationships with our clients and was a great team player. All at the YMCA will miss her sense of humour, her hospitality and her diligence in how she applied herself in the workplace. We wish Kath a long and happy retirement, and hope that she and her husband Phil get to enjoy their future years together.’
Kath is our guest blogger this month – read her blog here