A Good Samaritan, who worked as a children’s nurse in Sheffield and fostered dozens of children in a career spanning 45 years, has retired.
Hundreds gathered at a retirement party this month for Pat Gee - daughter of legendary Sheffield City Hall organist Ken Outram.
Pat, known to her colleagues as ‘Mummy Pat,’ began working at the children’s hospital in 1970.
Pat, aged 65, said: “I’ve always loved my job, especially working with all the younger girls joining the profession; they’ve kept me young and I’ve enjoyed looking after them, but I’m ready for a break now.”
Pat and husband Allan - a windowcleaner who also retired this month - married in 1972 and had two daughters, Louise and Victoria. They began fostering at their home in Dronfield when their two girls were very young.
“We knew there were so many children out there without parents or good homes and we wanted to help,” added the grandmother-of-one.
“We always treated all the children who came through our door the same. If we bought something for our girls, we bought something for them. We were trained by Sheffield Social Services and looked after handicapped children, autistic children, children with Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. Some stayed with us for weeks or months, others visited us for respite care on the weekends.”
Allan added: “So many kids, when they came to us, gobbled food up like it was going out of fashion whenever we put it in front of them. It was as if they’d never known where their next meal was coming from and it went on like that until they realised there would always be three meals a day on the table for them. We had some wonderful times, but there were sad moments too.”
Pat agreed: “It was hard to let them go, especially when it was under difficult circumstances, and eventually we decided we couldn’t do it anymore.”
The pair are now looking forward to holidays in their caravan now and spending more time with their grandson. Pat is also hoping to spend more time on her hobby of cake decorating.