Elaine Horrocks calls it a day after 39 years with Blue Care
AFTER almost 40 years of dedicated community work, Blue Care Lockyer service manager Elaine Horrocks has decided to call it a day.
Mrs Horrocks' journey with Blue Care has been a long and rewarding experience, from walking the streets of the region caring for clients in 1976 to seeing the realisation of the Blue Care Lockyer Community and Respite Care Centre in 2013.
Mrs Horrocks first joined Blue Care in 1972 for a short period of time and enjoyed the experience so much she re-joined the service four years later.
Starting her career as a registered nurse with about 70 clients, Mrs Horrocks has grown with Blue Care to take on roles including director of nursing in 1997 and later service manager in 2011.
These days Blue Care Lockyer accommodates more than 380 clients.
"I've really enjoyed it and it's been a privilege to work with the community and to assist people who need the care," Mrs Horrocks said.
"It's also been a privilege to be there for those who are dying and to be able to help them through those last days with all their families and supporting them.
"It's been a privilege to work with the teams of people I've worked with too.
"The commitment, not only of staff but of volunteers, has been astronomical.
"And the support from the local community has been absolutely fantastic.
"There's no way we could continue to do as much as we do without community support through car sponsorships, donations or even through people assisting us."
After almost four decades, Mrs Horrocks said it was time for a change.
"I'll miss the people and that's the staff and volunteers as well as the clients," she said.
"It's time to make a change and step back and it's time for a change within the centre too.
"There's lots and lots of changes that are taking place and it's time now for me to stand back and let the next person take over and lead this team into that new era.
"I've absolutely loved it, it's been a fabulous opportunity for me and it's been a privilege to work in this community."
Mrs Horrocks will be on long-service leave until December when she will officially retire.
Former Blue Care service manager for Roma, Charleville and Cunnamulla, Sue Harrison, will take over from Mrs Horrocks until July when a permanent replacement will take up the position.
"It's a challenge and it's a bigger service.
"Even though I cover a large geographical area where I live, I probably don't have as many staff as what Elaine did here, so for me it's a bit of a step up," Mrs Harrison said.
"I'll be out getting to know people and promoting the service.
"And I know that Elaine has done that quite well in the past, so I will try and continue to do that because we play a big part in the community.