Monday, 24th November 2014

Golden girl Dorothy proves age is no obstacle to work

Having been in employment since the age of 15, you would be forgiven for thinking that 77- year-old Dorothy Turner would want to take

life easy in her golden years.

dorothy1.jpgDorothy Turner

Instead, at a time when most people are objecting to having to work longer, the great grandmother cannot wait to be back into employment.

“I see work almost like a paid holiday; I have always enjoyed it and it keeps you in the real world,” she said.

“I expect to be working until I drop dead as I can’t imagine not doing it. I love being occupied and meeting new people and the extra money helps too, a basic pension is only £100 a week and without it, you end up starving.”

Dorothy’s latest employer, Home Instead Senior Care in Telford and Wrekin, provides at-home care to older people in the area. Having only retired from her previous job as a market researcher in October last year, Dorothy, from Bayston Hill, has been eager to get back into the working world.

“I retired so that I could spend some more time with my husband. When he passed away in February, I really didn’t want to stay at home, I wanted to work,” she said.

“Fortunately my son, who has a recruitment company, phoned me and said that there was some care work at a new company.

“When I went to Home Instead, I wasn’t worried that my age would be an issue, I just went in because I wanted a job and they gave me one. Age didn’t seem to come into it.”

Home Instead owner Jenny Sokoloff said: “It is fantastic that we can hire older people who may not have thought they could get back into the working world. We find that

older caregivers often have a real affinity with our clients and find caregiving a worthwhile and rewarding profession that is flexible enough to manage.”

Born in 1934, to an engineer and a nurse, Dorothy was forced to move around the country as a child to escape the frequent bombings during the Second World War.

After finishing school with no proper qualifications, she married and settled down in the county in 1967.

She started her working life at 15 as a dressmaker, a job that she was ‘put into’ by her mother.

Dorothy’s enthusiasm to work was evident from a young age and she even insisted on working from home when she had her two children, Caron and Malcolm.

“My boss at the time said I could stay at work until I had the baby, so long I didn’t have it on the cutting board,” she said.

Since then Dorothy has held down a string of jobs and businesses, from running the Shell garage in Ditherington, to setting up one of Shropshire’s first courier services, Turn Around Express.

She said: “The Shell garage was an interesting one, we started out just selling petrol but the usual requests from customers turned the garage into a supermarket of sorts.

If a customer requested an item more than twice, we would put it in stock. After ten years the garage was selling anything from milk to corsets!”

Dorothy’s daughter, Caron Bell, shares her mother’s passion for work, as at 55, the mother-of-four is already holding down three jobs.

She said: “I definitely got my work ethic from my parents, my mum is an inspiration and my best mate.

“It’s quite funny that at a time when most people are objecting to having to worklonger, my mum is objecting to not being able to work longer.”

And Dorothy has some advice for those reaching retirement: “It’s really up to them what they want to do, but my advice is, ‘go on working it keeps you alive’.”

By Luke Powell