Long after many of us have brushed our teeth, set our alarm clocks and gone to bed, one lady sits up all night to take care of any unsettled sleepers - a presence of re-assurance and care should one of them wake. 

Jill Tennant is part of a team of Night Carers working here and today, 1st November 2019 marks her 25th year of working with us. 

Full time mum Jill joined us from working in a school as a lunchtime supervisor and was struck very early on by the setting of Cherry Trees in a lovely location. Working nights has enabled Jill to support her family and spend time with her son, and is with us three night shifts a week and a Saturday each month. 

Having been here over a quarter of a decade Jill has seen the demand for respite increase and our service provision broaden beyond  Surrey. 

When asked about a favourite memory during all those years, it's a winter memory that she draws upon:

"Over ten years ago, I arrived for a Sunday night shift, and didn’t leave until Tuesday morning. This was due to heavy snow, and Staff and Parents unable to make the journey safely. There was good camaraderie amongst everyone, including villagers who  volunteered to cook meals for everyone."

Jill seen here, just this week (during the day!) helping the children carve pumpkins. 

Image courtesy of: Acting-Senior Ella, Cherry Trees

With our 40th anniversary on the horizon next year Jill is looking forward to carrying on her work here in the twilight hours: 

"I’ve always felt it to be a privilege to be entrusted by Parents to care for their children. I feel I’ve done my job when a child who doesn’t sleep well at home, manages to sleep all night after several visits, and this continues at home. It’s a good feeling when Parents are thankful and life is a bit easier. My secret to staying up late is not coffee, but thoughts of Steve or Chrissie’s cake that may be waiting in the fridge!"

Well done Jill! 

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery and voluntary income, Cherry Trees is able to give children a fun sleep over and parents and carers precious time to sleep and re-charge at home themselves. Our experienced care staff create a home from home environment here at Cherry Trees.