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101 Year Old Dinner Lady Revisits School Five Decades After her Last Shift

Published: Friday 7th February 2020


Bowbridge Court resident, Kathleen Treharne, who recently celebrated her 101stbirthday, has revisited the school where she worked as a dinner lady for 20 years to see how things have changed since her last shift.

Bowbridge Court has recently launched a Wish Tree initiative where residents have the opportunity to ‘make a wish’ for something they would really like to do, and staff then support them to achieve their goals.  Following many long and happy years as a dinner lady at Bishop Alexander LEAD Academy in Newark, Kathleen wished to revisit the school and meet the children and staff and see for herself how things have changed since she was last there.

Kathleen had a full itinerary of things to do and see during her visit and on arrival, she was presented with old school record books, which included an entry from when her daughter Jennifer was a pupil. Kathleen later enjoyed coffee and cake in the staff room with teachers and kitchen staff where they reminisced about times gone by and discussed new ways of learning for the children and events coming up at school.

Kathleen spent time with all the year groups, including nursery children who performed songs and danced for her. Kathleen then hosted a question and answer session with the older classes, where they listened to her accounts of her childhood and has been invited back to speak with the older children about her experiences during war times as part of their history syllabus.

Kathleen then joined the pupils for lunch, which brought back many happy memories of her time as a dinner lady.  Kathleen was thrilled as more children came to shake her hand and introduce themselves throughout lunch.

Before leaving the school, the Head Teacher presented Kathleen with a copy of the original opening programmes from when the school originally opened in 1955.

Kathleen, who has been a resident at Bowbridge Court since 2013 said, ‘’I am so grateful to the team at Bowbridge Court, they always go above and beyond and this has been such a wonderful experience for me - I am so glad I got my wish!

Everything at the school has changed, there are new buildings and lots of technology and facilities for the students. The only thing that has never changed is the smiles of the children and how happy they make you feel’’.

Gaynor Smart-McCann, Bowbridge Court Home Manager said, ‘’Kathleen is such a lovely lady and an integral part of the Bowbridge community. I am so pleased she has enjoyed her day at school. The wish tree is such a fantastic initiative and I am so proud to be a part of something that means so much to our residents’’.

Bowbridge Court residential and dementia care home is operated by Ideal Carehomes and located on Bowbridge Road.  All 54 bedrooms are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible. Residents enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and well-being activities, managed by a dedicated activities team.