The Royal Hospital Chelsea's Activities Coordinator Theresa Ayeche has received an award from the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the exceptional contribution that she has made to the Chelsea Pensioners’ quality of life over the past 25 years.
She was one of only five people to receive the prestigious Mayor's Award by Mayor Cllr Maighread Condon-Simmond at a ceremony on Wednesday 11 March.
Theresa started working at the Royal Hospital in April 1990 as a Care Assistant and during her time as a carer she became known for engaging residents in any available opportunities to ensure they had the best quality of life possible.
In her role as Activities Coordinator, Theresa arranges a daily, weekly and yearly calendar of activities, events and outings for all Chelsea Pensioners living in the Infirmary. The weekly programme includes a pottery class, sketching, quizzes, crosswords and afternoon teas. Based on interest and feedback from Pensioners generated through Activity meetings, questionnaires, and informal chats, Theresa arranges endless outings and social events.
She said of her Award: “I always say I have the best job in the world, I cannot wait to come in to work every day and see the Pensioners. I feel very honoured to receive this Award. I’ve been working with the Pensioners for 25 years. They all know me and when they hear me coming down the corridor they know I’m going to get them out and about doing something! As well as all the fun we have, they can also talk to me about anything they want. It really is the best job and I love it.”
Theresa is held in very high regard by Pensioners, staff and volunteers alike. Chelsea Pensioner Audrey Merton, who was one of the Pensioners who nominated her for the Mayor's Award, said: "Theresa is the best person that I know. She does everything for the Pensioners and never thinks of herself – she always puts the Pensioners first and nothing seems to be too much trouble. She always seems to have the answer.
"I have been at the Infirmary for nearly four years and Theresa has been a great friend to me. She takes me shopping and she often splits her lunch with me – as long as it’s not cheese! She organises trips and outings for the Pensioners to make sure we get out and about and continue to see some of the world. I had never seen London before; now I have been to the Tower of London, Battersea Park, London Eye. She is just wonderful."
Chelsea Pensioner and former Typex Operator Helen Andrews visits the famous codebreaker site
Chelsea Pensioners have recognised the work efforts of staff who will be working over the Christmas period