Story 72

What a true gentleman!

I started working for Leonard Cheshire Disability in 1981 at the young age of 16. Who would have thought, 35 years later, I would still be here, and now a service manager!

Angie Stevens

Throughout the years I have had a few claims to fame but none more special than meeting the great man himself, Leonard Cheshire. My fond memory of meeting Leonard was in the early 90s when I was in a presentation line with one of our residents. As one of my colleagues went to push the wheelchair I remember Leonard saying to her ‘please, let me do that.’ I thought, what a true gentleman!

Another happy memory is from attending a Leonard Cheshire ‘Around the World Conference’ in London. Prince Charles was attending and making a speech, and I was supporting a gentleman named Hugh McPherson. I thought it would be nice for him to wear a kilt. Hugh and I were wearing name badges and waiting in the presentation line to meet Prince Charles. When he approached Hugh, Prince Charles happened to say ‘McPherson — are you wearing the McPherson tartan?’ In his broad Scottish accent, Hugh replied ‘naw Sir, my carer borrowed it for me.’ I was standing there thinking, please don’t ask me whose tartan it is as I haven’t a clue. I had borrowed the kilt from a friend’s father just for the occasion. We did have a good laugh later on.

I also remember when the Queen was coming to visit Mayfield House in Edinburgh which was the home where Leonard Cheshire Disability in Scotland originated. She was to unveil a plaque on a new extension that had been built. The Charity’s head of home at the time was Sheila Gibb. She was giving us lessons on how to speak properly when being introduced to the Queen. We were to say ‘Mam’, pronounced as in ‘jam’. We all practised and were well-polished by the time she arrived.

I have great memories of all the past and present people who have used our services. A lot of characters, truly lovely and interesting people to support. That is the reason why I have stayed so long here. I hope to continue to work for Leonard Cheshire Disability until the day I retire. Then I can say my whole working life has been with the Charity. What an achievement that will be for me!

I have great memories of all the past and present people who have used our services. A lot of characters, truly lovely and interesting people to support.