These days it is rare to have worked for the same organisation for over a decade, but this certainly isn’t the case at Bedford. This year marks 50 years of service for not one, but four of our employees!
Allan celebrated his anniversary back in April. Being a modest man he tried to keep this milestone quiet, but on the day couldn't believe it when so many members of the team offered their congratulatory messages.
"I love that there are so many different types of jobs here and I've been able to work in a number of different areas," Allan said, when asked why he chose to stay at Bedford for so many years.
"I've seen all sorts of changes in this place over the years."
Joyce's close friends at the Panorama site spent months preparing for her big day, organising a team celebration in her honour. For Joyce, working at Bedford has been a very socially rewarding experience as she has built up the confidence to step out of her comfort zone around others.
"I like the people…I've learnt how to make friends," she said. "I ask the supervisors for help when I need it and they show you what to do."
Gary is a man of few words. When asked how he feels to have worked at Bedford for half a century he simply grins from ear to ear and gives two big thumbs up. It's no surprise Gary is very popular amongst his work mates. You rarely see him without a smile on his face as he works away on the machinery in our Manufacturing department.
Talking to John about the time he has spent here, he reminisces about the number of jobs he's worked in and all the friendly faces he's met along the way.
"My favourite thing is meeting other people. I've made a lot of mates here - a few of them are still working here at Bedford today," he said. "I've enjoyed working here – that's all I can say."
Bedford Chief Executive, Sally Powell, has seen these employees grow over the past decade and couldn't be more proud of them.
"I would like to congratulate these valued employees for the achievements of these outstanding milestones and recognise their dedication to Bedford and the work we achieve," she said. "While these awards celebrate commitment, it is also an important reminder of the positive impact that Bedford has.
"Everyone has the right to participate and giving people the opportunity to realise their potential benefits the whole community and reinforces what Bedford is about and why it matters."
The Bedford Years of Service Awards will be held to coincide with International Day of People with Disability in December, to acknowledge everyone at Bedford who has reached a milestone. It is a very special day of reflection and celebration for all those involved.