‘I just love it here’: Receptionist celebrates 20 years with Exemplar

25 October 2019

iola sheffield exemplar willowbeck complex needs care home longley park view the lodge exemplar health care nursing care long serving working job career

A receptionist at one of Exemplar Health Care’s three complex needs care homes in Sheffield has been awarded for working 20 years with us. 

Iola Nelson (pronounced ee-ola) works at the reception desk at Willowbeck, home to 64 service users living with complex physical disabilities, mental-ill health and brain injuries.

“I just love it here,” said Iola, looking back at her two decades with Exemplar.

She qualified as a nurse in 1970, and started working at the home in May 1999. Back then, the home was called Hollywell Court, before being acquired by Exemplar in 2006.

“About 10 years ago, they were looking for a receptionist,” added Iola, who also celebrated her 70th birthday this year.

Iola retired from nursing to take up the front-desk role – and says she’s taken to the job like a fish to water. “It’s been a very exciting journey, and I’ve made a lot of friends,” she said.

‘An absolute pleasure’

If you visit Willowbeck, you’ll find everyone knows Iola.

“All who meet her instantly like her,” said Sandra Rhodes, Willowbeck’s Home Manager.

“Iola is an absolute pleasure to work with, and is very passionate and enthusiastic. Nothing is too much trouble for her.”

Iola isn’t the only one to celebrate this year. Last month, Cath Kay, the home manager of our Quarryfields home in Doncaster, celebrated 20 years with us as our longest-serving colleague.

And on November 5th, every one of Exemplar’s care homes will roll out the bunting and cut the cake to celebrate Exemplar20, our own twentieth birthday party!

Photo caption: Iola Nelson stands next to her Long Service Award and flowers at the reception desk in Willowbeck, Sheffield.