An inspirational resident at Sunrise of Bassett is being celebrated by the care home to mark International Women’s Day. Lorraine Riggs, who joined the care home over four years ago, is credited with inspiring others by refusing to give up her passion for teaching in her nineties.
Lorraine wanted to become a teacher from when she was eight years old and went on to achieve her dream – spurred on by her tendency to “think a lot and talk a lot”. And, when in primary school, Lorraine was encouraged by her father who would affectionately say “if you were half as good at school as you are with your back chat, you will be doing very well!’’. She continues to pursue this passion today by helping and supporting many children in the local community.
Reflecting on when she first started teaching in 1951, Lorraine recalls how men were paid more for the same job and that promotions were normally reserved for men even if female teachers were outstanding in their work. However, hard work combined with a love for her profession earnt her recognition for her talents throughout her career.
Asked who she sees as two inspirational women, Lorraine said Helen Keller, an American author who overcame the adversity of being blind and deaf to become a leading humanitarian, and Greta Thunberg, the young environmental activist who effectively challenged world leaders to take immediate action against climate change.
Lorraine was encouraged to join Sunrise of Bassett by her family after a period of ill health. She says that it was the right decision and living in the care home enabled her to gradually recover.
Speaking of her experience at the care home, Lorraine said:
“Sunrise of Bassett has offered me comfort, safety, companionship, freedom from housework, food shopping and cooking. I took advantage of that freedom and introduced innovations, first by starting a weekly Wednesday Lunch party, mixing up ladies and gentlemen in the private dining room which has been hugely successful. I then followed that with ‘Last Night of the Proms’, a Christmas Carol Service and a weekly Singing group. Living here doesn’t mean we just give up - there are still things to do and enjoy.”
Speaking of Lorraine’s tenacity, Kim Harding, Sunrise of Bassett’s General Manager, said:
“Lorraine is a true inspiration to us all and her continued commitment to supporting children in the local area is a reminder for us to never give up our passions. She is an enriching force at Sunrise of Bassett, and we are proud that she is a part of our care home.”
To find out more about Sunrise of Bassett, click here.