WHERE’S WALLY? He’s enjoying his retirement after nearly two decades as a maintenance man at Teesside care homes.
Walter “Wally” Shutt, 74, was given a send-off to remember when his colleagues at Ingleby Care Home, on Lamb Lane, Ingleby Barwick, dressed as the famous, stripe wearing cartoon character for his retirement party.
He was surprised with a specially made “Retirement 2022” t-shirt for his final day, when everyone at the care home burst into a rendition of “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” when he entered the room.
They also watched a slideshow of photos and recorded video tributes from his time working at the care home, presented him with several cards, and decorated his car with banners and balloons.
Wally has spent the last nine years at Ingleby Care Home, having previously spent 10 years at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, Thornaby – both operated by the Hill Care Group.
Residents and staff paid tribute to the hard-working maintenance man, who was also a friend of many.
Resident John Podzukites, 99, said: “I’ve not just lost someone who I worked very closely with in the garden, but I have lost a very good friend.
“My time spent with Wally doing the garden or him helping in my shed will be missed greatly. He said he is going to pop in and see me which I will very much look forward too.”
Fellow resident Gladys Green, 93, added: “He is an old time, true gentleman and there is not many of them around now.
“Nothing was too much trouble for him. He always came in with a wave and a smile through the window. He will be sadly missed.”
Wally who has two children, Sarah and Eamon, who live in Australia, said: “I loved the assortment of jobs that had to be done as a maintenance man and the different types of environment you had to work in.
“It was always nice to get acknowledgments and thanks off the residents after helping them.
“The nicest highlights from my time working at Ingleby and Mandale House were at Christmas time, when you see the happy faces on the residents and when the school children came in to sing carols for them.
“When my wife, Cath, died last year, my friends at Ingleby Care Home helped me through a tough time and I can’t thank them enough for that.
“My time now will be spent in my garden and going for country walks around the village, as well as spending the time with my family when they arrive from Australia.”
Carol Singleton, home manager at Ingleby Care Home, said: “Wally has been a wonderfully dedicated member of our staff team. Nothing was ever too much trouble.
“Residents loved how much he enjoyed the garden and the hanging baskets at the home’s entrance were legendary. We will all miss him very much.
“He wasn’t just an employee over at Ingleby but he was a great friend to staff and residents. We’re all gutted he’s retiring but also believe it’s time he put his feet up and relax.”