Five minutes with...

We spend five minutes with Beryl Zarb, catering assistant, Queen’s Hospital Romford

Beryl Zarb

 
Time 1168 days ago Comments 1 comment
 

Career HighlightsThe life of a catering assistant is never dull it seems. Beryl Zarb and the catering team at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, keep the patients well fed and the catering services running smoothly. And it’s Beryl’s love of the job and the interaction with staff and patients alike that has kept her in Romford’s hospitals for just over 36 years.

“I’ve had quite a varied career over the years but have always worked in the hospital,” says Beryl. “I honestly can’t believe it’s such a long time ago that I first started at Oldchurch Hospital back in 1979. Then in 2006, Oldchurch closed and we all moved to the new state-of-the-art Queen’s Hospital.

“When I started out I was employed by the NHS and, at that time, all the meals served in the hospital were prepared and cooked on-site. Then, we moved to Queen’s Hospital, and here all the food is cooked and chilled off-site. So, my job is to pack all the chilled food and take the meals up to the wards where are then heated, if required, and served to the patients.”

A good deal of Beryl’s day is spent working in the fridge, prepping the food for the next meal of the day. Says Beryl, “People are very jealous of me in the summer, when I get to cool off in the fridge, but my fleece is an essential part of my wardrobe in the winter!”

Although Beryl has always worked in hospitals, she’s worked quite a few different roles over time. Catering has been a constant but, in addition to her catering assistant role, she’s done housekeeping and some portering, mainly taking the bread and milk up to the wards throughout the day. Beryl has also supported the administrative side of the catering team by delivering the daily menus to the patients and marking off their meal selections.

“Catering, like everything, changes depending on trends at the time,” admits Beryl. “It used to be that we always served soup and sandwiches at lunchtime and the patients had a hot, main meal in the evening. Then that changed round when people wanted something lighter at night time.

Naturally she has lots of good memories of the great people she’s worked with and looked after. “After 36 years, you feel like part of the furniture and you never really take the time to look back over your career. Getting the invitation to the long service event taking in October was very touching and much appreciated. It makes me feel recognised and valued for the work I’ve done over those years,” reflects Beryl.

When asked what makes her stay in her job, Beryl revealed that her two younger sisters also work in catering at Queen’s Hospital, having also been there for 36 and 37 years respectively. “It’s well and truly a family affair for us working here.

“My daughter keeps telling me that if I retired I’d just get bored at home – and she’s right! Work keeps me young and I love the interaction with people and I’m not ready to give that up just yet.”

 

1 comment


Bridgette R. - Really enjoyed reading your story!

Share this story About sharing

  
Send to Kindle

News

Carly’s challenge - Springboard Trek 2019
 

Carly’s challenge - Springboard Trek 2019

This year, Carly from Corporate Services is taking on the challenge of a lifetime and participating in the 2019 Springboard Trek to Borneo.

 
Your Lucky Number
 

Your Lucky Number Christmas bonanza

On 24 December, the winners of the Your Lucky Number special draw were announced!

 
SHCM
 

Christmas message from Sean Haley

In the last full working week before the holidays begin, Sean wanted to reflect on Sodexo's year and thank you for your hard work across the UK & Ireland region.

 
Star Awards
 

Star Awards 2018

All eyes were on The Principal Hotel in Manchester last night (12 Dec) as the city played host to Sodexo’s Star Awards event for the first time.

 
Discover the best time and money saving tips
 

Sodexo Discounts top ten festive tips

The holiday season is in full swing. Discover the best festive time and money saving tips from Sodexo Discounts.

 
WW2018
 

WASTELESS WEEK 2018

 A huge thank you to all sites that participated in WasteLESS Week!

 
Long Service Awards 2018
 

LONG SERVICE AWARDS 2018

The Long Service Awards is one of the highlights of the Sodexo calendar - a fantastic event recognising loyal employees

 
Your Lucky Number
 

Your Lucky Number Christmas bonanza!

To celebrate Christmas and Your Lucky Number’s success, a special draw has been announced - you could win up to £2,000!

 
Salon Culinaire Winners
 

Salon Culinaire puts on a mouth-watering display

Defence & Government Services employees shone at the 2018 Salon Culinaire competition, topping the medal table with 171 awards in total. The segment also boasted both the overall best in show winner, chef Elaine Morris (pictured), and the apprentice chef of the year, Patricia Gora.