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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > August 2010 > Joan says Goodbye

Joan says Goodbye After 50 Years

Thursday 26th August 2010

                                 

Joan O’Sullivan, Senior Practitioner of the Visual and Hearing Impairment Team, officially left the council today, after 50 years service. The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, attended her farewell celebration at midday, at Sight Concern’s Offices in Bromham Road, Bedford.

 

Joan was just 17 when she joined Bedfordshire County Council as part of a trainee scheme, working in many departments, and eventually opting for the Health Department. After providing support for groundbreaking local research and trials into glaucoma and diabetes, Joan developed a keen interest in visual impairment.

 

Throughout her career, she organised numerous activities to enable those with visual impairment to develop independence and confidence. This included hospital liaison, craft workshops, clubs, drop-in centres, social events, and became a trustee for Sight Concern.

 

The Visual Impairment Team expanded in 1994, and three of the original members are still in the team today. In 2008, Joan took on the additional challenge of leading the ‘Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team’.

 

Frank Toner, Executive Director of Adult Services, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Joan has consistently fought her corner for resources for people with sensory needs. Her commitment and dedication to working with sight impairment has been consistent throughout her career. I feel sure that services in Bedfordshire would not be as advanced without the hard work and dedication she has shown. Despite the fact that she is not particularly tall, she is in all senses of the word a ‘big’ lady with a big heart, and a big fund of ideas. Joan’s enthusiasm for the sensory needs service has empowered her staff to be the best they can be. Over the years Joan has supported hundreds of visually impaired people of all ages.”

 

Bedford Borough Council wishes Joan a happy and healthy retirement, and expresses their sincere thanks for the massive contribution she has made to the care of vulnerable people in the borough.

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