Relatives of two NRS Healthcare staff who recently passed away were invited to the unveiling of two new training suites, which have been named in their memory.

Grahame Reeve and Carol Perfett were both much-loved colleagues at the Kent depot in Aylesford and colleagues were devastated when they both died earlier this year.

The unveiling of the training suites, which have been created to offer face to face and remote training, took place on Friday 10th December, and guests included NRS staff, many of whom were close friends of Grahame and Carol, representatives from Kent NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Kent County Council.

Sharron Nevins, who is the Service Centre Manager for NRS, in Kent, said:

“We are pleased to have now officially opened our two wonderful, fit-for-purpose training suites that will be complimented by a strong clinical team and videographer, which will help us achieve our aspirations of becoming the Kent Training Academy – a centre of excellence for training linked to the service. As well as face to face training, we will also offer remote training and create a library of learning resources that support not just prescribers, clinicians and our own staff, but also external groups such as care agencies, unpaid carers and also young carers. With the demands on the sector, the ability to have training resources that are easily accessible to all groups will not only support development and training needs, but also enable staff time to utilise their time more efficiently.”

To mark the opening, Grahame’s widow Sally Reeve and her brother Arthur, and Carol’s partner Trevor and her son David carried out the ribbon cutting.

Carol worked as a Customer Service Advisor at NRS Healthcare after transferring from Kent County Council when the contract was tendered. She had previously worked for the paediatric service on behalf of the council and spent many years tirelessly working to provide equipment solutions for vulnerable children. Carol retired in early 2020 and sadly passed away in April 2021.

Sharron said:

“If you met Carol, you’d never forget her. She came from north London and was an absolute diamond. She managed the paediatric department and loved the children. We were very sorry to hear of her passing earlier this year. She was an amazing character and was much loved by everyone who met her.”

Trevor, Carol’s partner, said:

“I was very proud to be asked to come and be a part of the opening of the training rooms and cut a ribbon. It was a lovely, lovely day.”

In addition to the training suites, colleagues of Grahame, also came together to purchase a bench, inscribed with the words: “In Memory of Graham Reeve, for his tireless service to the children of Kent” and one of his sayings: “Work hard, play hard, live life to the full and have no regrets.”

Graham worked as a paediatric engineer in Kent for over 16 years and during that time was responsible for repairing, servicing, and maintaining paediatric equipment in clients’ homes and in schools. Grahame’s knowledge of children’s equipment was second to none and he could fix virtually anything. He was highly respected and well thought of amongst clinicians, colleagues, and clients alike.

He passed away in May after suffering a stroke toward the end of 2020. His death was not only a huge loss to the service but was also a personal blow to the team as Grahame was such a popular member of staff.

Sally said:

“It was just such a lovely day. I knew that Grahame’s colleagues had bought a bench, but I didn’t know about the training rooms. They were both such lovely gestures and Arthur was also equally touched. Seeing the bench and the quotes made me really quite emotional. Training was important to Grahame and so it’s wonderful to know that staff can be trained on the equipment that they will be using and supplying.”

NRS Healthcare has been providing community equipment across Kent for the past six years supporting both children and adults to live independently in their own homes.

Sharron said:

“When we first started, we had a small training room but over the past six months have refurbished and extended the existing one and created a second. It was very important for us to remember both Carol and Grahame. They weren’t just a loss to the service, but to us all individually. We are a family here.”