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  • Writer's pictureThom Rowlands

Above and beyond

Updated: Mar 16

Musicians: Barney Keen (guitar, vocals) Nat Keen (guitar, vocals) Stewart Hughes (drums)

On Tuesday Bridgeside Lodge rolled out the red carpet for local dignitaries and senior NHS social care representatives who were there to celebrate manager Fatma Makalo receiving a much-deserved award for her services to social care.

Fatma is now recognised as a "Chief Nursing Officer for Adult Social Care" after being nominated by Tina Jegede MBE (Joint Director of Race, Equality & Diversity and Nursing Lead at Whittington Health & Islington Council).

1) Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, (Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care in England) Fatma Makalo, Amanda Scott (CEO of Forest Care).

2) Joana Martins (Trusted Assessor for Care Homes at Islington Council), Fatma, Deborah Sturdy, Tina Jegede

3) Councillor Janet Burgess MBE (whose husband Walter was a resident at Bridgeside Lodge) Cllr Marian Spall (Mayor of Islington), Deborah Sturdy, Jill Britton (Acting Director of Strategic Commissioning & Investment, Islington Council

Always up for a celebration, the staff of Bridgeside Lodge arranged a (semi) surprise party for Fatma, complete with BBQ and music from The Spitz.

Keen brothers Nat and Barney were joined by Stewart Hughes on drums for what proved to be the perfect soundtrack to a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Jazz standards, folk tunes, pop and

reggae were all on the setlist and resident JR joined the band for a rendition of his original song "United, Together We Are Strong".

Nurse Tina immediately fell in love with the song and is now in negotiations with JR about using it in her work in Race, Equality & Diversity. The lyrics touch on shared humanity, kindness and tolerance. Seems like a perfect fit to us.

The garden was perhaps the most full we have ever seen it, almost every resident who is able to leave their room was present, as were many friends and family. We caught up with relatives of residents we lost over the past couple of years and we reminisced with them about lost friends and loved-ones. It is testament to Fatma that people wanted to return to Bridgeside for the first time since their bereavements to acknowledge her and the work she did for their loved-ones and continues to do today.

All of us at The Spitz are so happy that Fatma has been recognised for the incredible work she delivers with kindness, compassion and fun on a daily basis. As the band wrapped up for the afternoon, Nat spoke for all of us when he said over the mic: "Fatma, we love you."

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