Almost half of employees at the Susan Day Residential Home of South Lodge have clocked up an impressive stay at the charity-run seafront home.

LONG-SERVING care staff at Ilfracombe’s Susan Day Residential Home are celebrating after clocking up an amazing 242 years of work at the home between them.

Almost half of the staff at the charity-run South Lodge in Wilder Road have worked there for 10 years or more, with many for almost 20 and two for almost 25.

To mark the occasion, on Thursday each of the long-serving employees was presented with a scroll commemorating their service, while staff and the home’s elderly residents were treated to a magic show plus a buffet provided by Ilfracombe Golf Club.

The home was established by a charitable trust in 1947 after South Lodge was donated for the benefit of the ‘old and needy of Ilfracombe’ by the Day family.

Manager Cherry Wild, who has been at the home for 23 years, said during the 242 years of service they had cared for 203 different residents.

“As the care industry as a whole has the biggest turn over of staff of any business, this is quite a noteworthy achievement,” she said.

“Our trustees look after the staff very well, we are all part of a family. We are proud of our home and the staff are proud of it as well.

“We are for Ilfracombe and district, so all the people here have gone to school together, gone to chapel together and known each other all their lives – last week the daughter of one of the residents asked to come in too.”

When it opened the home had six residents, but now cares for 33. Over the year charitable donations have led to the creation of two new wings and a rear extension.

“We’re a charily and I think the oldest residential home in North Devon. Initially it was very much hand to mouth, where the hotels gave us food for Christmas,” added Cherry.

“When I started there were no carpets and no proper doors, just curtains. Obviously it has evolved to meet modern care standards.”