Carly, how long have you been working with us?”
“Oh, quite some time now, it will be ten years this August.”
“Ten years you say? That is a long time, are you sure it is that long?”
“Oh yes, I remember the day I started as if it was yesterday. It was ten years ago.”
“Ten years already, that’s worth a little celebration!”
And so it went. The red carpet was rolled out, flowers were brought in, and proud smiles flashed in front of the camera. Carly has been with us for ten years. Or so we thought. Until David, sharp as ever, thought it worthwhile to check who the next staff member with ten years under their belt would be, and realised that Carly was actually a year off. It was nine years ago she started with us, not ten.
Now we all know that time flies when you’re having fun, and Carly must have enjoyed herself immensely over the past ten nine years. Ah well, it inspired us to start a tradition of celebrating our staff’s Ten Year Anniversaries with Kemble – and we are still laughing.
Where it all started…
The day Carly joined us we were still known as Kemble Care – run by our founders Michael and Sharon King. Carly: “I was interviewed by Sharon, I can’t believe it is that long ago already. And boy did Sharon have heart for the business, she would ring half the world if she had to so that a client could have their visits at the time they wanted. You just wouldn’t have the heart to say ‘No’ to her!”
From her very first day, Carly was thrown straight into the deep. “I remember doing my induction course, and then I shadowed a colleague for only two visits on a Friday evening, before being sent out on my own the next morning! My first visit was with a lovely man, 7am Saturday morning, to help him get ready for the day. I was incredibly nervous – but it all went well and I loved it.”
It all went swimmingly. Until one day, something happened that would change her life. On a Thursday afternoon, Carly received a phone call to ask if she could become the legal custodian of her brother’s three-month old daughter Olivia – her brother being unable to look after her himself under the circumstances. Carly: “It was very dramatic. Either I would have to look after her, or she would be taken into foster care. And there I was, 24 years old, and suddenly I had a three-month old girl to care for.”
She immediately put her life on hold. Carly: “I started working part-time, stopped going out, my whole life revolved around one thing – this beautiful little girl that had been placed in my care. I cared for her as if she was my own daughter.”
Tom and Harry
When Olivia was two years old, Carly met her now husband Tom – another tree surgeon and friend of her brothers. Carly: “We met, and it was clear as day. This is the guy for me. We met in June, I got pregnant in August, and in May the next year our little boy Harry arrived.”
Olivia would stay with Carly, Tom and Harry until she was four years old, when she moved back to her father. Carly: “She has always been part of our family, and she always will be. We see her all the time and her and Harry have basically grown up as brother and sister. We will always have this special bond – for four years she lived with me as my daughter. She will always have a special place in our hearts, for me, Tom and Harry. She will always be my girl.”
Another one on the way…
Harry is three and a half-years old, and will not have to wait long for another brother or sister – Carly and Tom are expecting a new arrival later this year. The new year will start with the joys (and sleepless nights) that come with having a little one, and then next summer will be another big year, where she celebrates a decade with Kemble at Home.
For real, this time.