An afternoon tea was held today, July 10, at Ynysmeurig House, Abercynon to recognise Cwm Taf University Health Board staff with 40+ years service along with long serving members of the Royal Voluntary Service.
Manuela Hiett, the Health Board’s Workforce Information Manager started her 41st year of service on 8 July 2014.
At nearly 17, Manuela started her working life with Gee Walker and Slater, Building Contractors, (McAlpines) as the office junior.
She saw an advertisement for a post in the payroll department and following a chat to her neighbour, who offered to provide her with a reference, she applied and got the job. The neighbour as it turned out happened to be a former director of Finance. However, she says she has forgiven him for encouraging her to join the NHS in particular the finance section!
In 1974, Manuela joined the NHS as a junior payroll officer, aged 18. On looking back at her career, she said: “I thought I’d only be here for ten years!” The rest as they say is history!!
Leaving her role as Payroll Manager in 2010, Manuela moved to Workforce and Organisational Development to manage and roll out the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system and also the rollout of the E-Expenses system.
Manuela has worked with the Finance department in Treforest and Dewi Sant Hospital. She has moved from and back to Dewi Sant Hospital on three occasions! This is where she is currently based.
Manuela says she isn’t particularly numerate but likes working with figures and also said: “I have met lots of people over the years who have become very good friends.”
She says that the payroll department is very pressurised with changing of systems and legislation and of course because of the fact everybody wants to have the right pay – there’s no room for error!!! “Many years ago someone told me you have to have skin like a rhinoceros to work in payroll and they were right.”
Manuela has two children - Nathan aged 27 and Katarina aged 24, neither of whom work for the NHS.
In her spare time, Manuela plays darts for the Cabo Roche team in Bridgend, but said: “We are not the best team. In fact we are the worst and will not be appearing at Lakeside any time soon. It’s all about being part of a team and having fun.”
She also likes to travel, having recently returned from Barcelona. There are planned visits to Krakow, Dubai and Nuremberg Christmas market. It’s a big world out there and she intends to see a lot more when time permits.
Manuela said: “The NHS, for all its highs and lows is a great employer.
“I will always say to people it is a good career move because it offers so many career paths, not to mention a good pension.”
Manuela was one of several members of staff who attended the ‘long service’ afternoon tea today where she reminisced with colleagues.
Fifteen members of the Royal Voluntary Service also attended and have worked a total of 240 years between them!!
Rachel Elizabeth Adler, aged 81 is one of our long serving Royal Voluntary Service volunteers.
A retired teacher, Rachel became a volunteer at Prince Charles Hospital in July 1991.
Rachel, a former Head of Department for Home Economics at Afon Taf High School originally worked in both the then ‘tea bar’ and shop at the hospital on a Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Rachel now works in the shop on a Tuesday afternoon and when she was asked about why she has volunteered for so long, she said: “I am a Christian and I believe in the labour of love.
“The work gives me a sense of satisfaction and I feel as though I am giving something back to society.
“I enjoy meeting people and over the years I have met a lot of people I have taught from grandparents, parents and their children!
“I would recommend becoming a volunteer because it gives you a good feeling, however small.”
Dr Chris Jones, Chairman of Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “These are remarkable people who have given a lifetime service and experience to our local NHS.
“They are an inspiration to all of us and they are living proof that a public service NHS is the way forward.”
Attendees at the event were presented with a gift and certificate to recognise their loyal dedicated service to the National Health Service and to the Royal Voluntary Service.
Staff who have served 40+ years (from left to right) Manuela Hiett, Janice Hibberd, Diane Gordon, Judith Warren, Peter Ashley and Anne Roberts
Members of the Royal Voluntary Service at Prince Charles Hospital