Staff who have together clocked up nearly 1,200 years of service for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will be recognised for their hard work and dedication during a special celebration event taking place today. A total of 39 staff, who have together spent 1,169 years working for the trust, will be thanked for their commitment and presented with special certificates during a Board meeting in Endeavour House in Ipswich. Together with a guest or family member, they will then enjoy a celebration lunch in recognition of their achievement. The long-servers have all worked for the trust for 25 years or more. As this is the first time the trust has invited staff to a Board meeting to receive their recognition, those who reached the quarter century mark in previous years have also been given the chance to come and celebrate. Among them is Charge Nurse Barbara Arnold, who has worked for the trust for nearly 40 years and spent most of her career at St Clements in Ipswich. She now works on the Avocet acute admissions ward at Woodlands in Ipswich, which offers assessment, care and treatment for adults with a variety of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and personality disorders. "I came into nursing straight from school, starting out as a cadet when I was 16," said Barbara. "I began my training as soon as I was old enough and have been here ever since. "Working in psychiatry gives you the chance to make small changes to people's lives while also helping them make changes for themselves. Every day brings a different challenge and it is unlike any other job. I still enjoy it today as much as I did on the day I started. "It's a really nice gesture that the trust is recognising myself and my colleagues for our long service, and it makes you feel that your efforts really are appreciated." Michael Scott, Chief Executive, said: "We are very proud to have so many loyal and dependable colleagues working across the Trust and are really pleased that we are able to recognise their dedication in this way. "Everyone who will receive a long service award has shown incredible commitment both to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and the people we serve and we are grateful to them." Gary Page, NSFT Chair, added: "Our staff are the bedrock of everything we do, and make a real difference to service users and their families every day. It is a pleasure to be able to recognise their hard work and dedication.
"We would like to offer them all our sincere thanks and congratulations." A total of 270 staff who have clocked up 25 years or more of service have been invited to a celebration lunch during 2015, with three more events taking place later in the year. As well as a certificate, every member of staff who reaches the milestone receives a £100 high street shopping voucher.