(Paula Rankin seen her with her initial job offer letter from 1989!!) 

Already a familiar face to many of our families, and one of our longest serving staff members on the care team, Paula Rankin has been promoted to Head of Care at Cherry Trees.

Paula assumes her position after 29 years with the charity, taking over from former Head of Care Peter Davey.

Starting out as a Care Assistant in September 1989, she was promoted to a Senior Care Assistant in 1994 before becoming Deputy Head of Care at the turn of the millennium.

A job advert placed in The Nursery Nurse magazine in the summer of 1989 led Paula to apply;

‘a youthful and quiet qualified nursery nurse traveled down from Warrington with her mum and just that one over-night stay and meeting the children within those first 24 hours was enough to convince me to make that move down. That was 29 years ago and I’m more a Southerner than a Northerner now (says Paula). A lots changed in the years I have been here; we’ve increased the number of beds we have, we have our fantastic soft play access, extended the conservatory, an old broken down Barn in the grounds was re-built and is now ‘The Barn’ where our Fundraising team sits… the list goes on! Cherry Trees is not just my efforts but the whole team and I couldn’t do it without them.’

Responsible for the 104 children and young people who come to Cherry Trees, she starts the New Year managing the service provision, care packages and activities for them, as well as overseeing the management of the main house and a care team of over 40 staff.

Paula is thrilled to be appointed after applying;

 ‘I am so pleased to still be here after 29 years and there is not a morning where I wake up and don’t want to come in. I love working with the children, it was all I ever wanted to do since I was 14. Here I am, all these years on in my career and enjoy seeing the children every day be the best they can be.’

Chief Executive Officer of Cherry Trees Claire Bryant said:

'I have not met anyone so committed to Cherry Trees as Paula; her drive to make Cherry Trees the best that it can be, to reach an Outstanding status with Ofsted and develop our services further to help even more families has shone through during her recent period as Acting Head of Care (Autumn 2018), till the present day. Paula is incredibly passionate about making a real difference to families who have children with disabilities and is a strong advocate for children; ensuring that their voices are heard and their best interests are at the heart of every decision. As a result, the Trustees and I had no reservations in appointing Paula as permanent Head of Care at Cherry Trees, I look forward to seeing Cherry Trees grow and develop under her leadership.’

Cherry Trees was awarded a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted in October of last year, but continues to work towards an ‘outstanding’ rating thanks to the efforts and dedication of the entire care team.