Care story: Betty and Lisa

This is the story of Betty and Lisa


Born on 27th September 1921, Betty Bryden has led a remarkable life. She celebrated her milestone 100th birthday last year and was delighted to receive a telegram from Her Majesty The Queen.

Despite her years, Betty lives an independent and active life with the support of her family and her carers at Heydays. Betty celebrated her birthday with her children and grandchildren, enjoying her favourite meal (a Chinese takeaway) and later in the week a trip to Linthwaite House near Windermere for Afternoon tea. A popular lady, Betty received in excess of 80 cards and had visitors from 9am in the morning throughout the day to wish her well.

Betty first met her carer, Lisa in February and since then, the pair have struck up a firm friendship. Lisa visits Betty five times a week to help her dress and style her hair, and they always enjoy a cup of tea and a chat. Lisa confesses that she could spend all day talking to Betty, who has an extraordinary memory and can tell fascinating stories of the past.

When looking back on her earlier life, Betty recalls growing up in Morecambe and beginning working life. Three weeks after her 18th birthday, Betty was called up and became a land army girl, which she really enjoyed. She still remembers the eery darkness of the blackout in wintertime. She also remembers walking along Blackpool Promenade on VE day when the Second World War ended, witnessing hundreds of bonfires which were lit as beacons of hope.

After the war, Betty moved to Newton-in-Furness with her family when her father took over the Farmers Arms.  It was there that Betty met Robert, a pilot in the Royal Air Force and they married in March 1947. Together, they bought a house in Barrow-in-Furness and eventually took over the running of Oxford Street Post Office, where they worked for many years until retiring in 1980. Betty describes how she loved the sociable nature of the job, getting to talk to different people.

Having lived through a world war and many hard times, Betty’s advice to the younger generation is to enjoy the simple things in life, as they often create the best memories.

Now as she approaches her 101st birthday, Betty says that she really values friendships and family. She looks forward to Lisa and her colleagues calling in, as it’s like having a friend coming. For Betty’s daughter Kay, having Heydays carers calling in first thing in the morning puts her mind at rest knowing that they will be checking that her mum is okay.

For Lisa, caring has always been her choice of profession. She has worked in other roles but always missed care work. Lisa says that she came across Heydays when her friend found a job vacancy and since then, she has never looked back. Lisa says that the thing she likes most about Heydays is that whilst client care always comes first, Heydays also really look after their staff. She enjoys having the time to get to really know a handful of clients and build valued friendships, as with Betty.