Maples Care Home

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Introducing Jean – our new resident ambassador

We’re delighted to introduce Jean Mizzie, our new resident ambassador here at Maples.

Born in 1935 at Lewisham Hospital, Jean really is just 85 years young! She spent her first four years in Blackheath and moved with her family to Charlton on the eve of the Second World War, remaining there throughout the conflict.

Despite the uncertainties of the war and the terrors of the bombing, Jean had a happy childhood and enjoyed school very much! She especially loved playing board games and doing puzzles, activities which she still finds absorbing to this day.

As a child, Jean remembers her parents always being very busy. Her father was an electrical engineer while her mother had two jobs – as a secretary and a cook in a residential care home.

When Jean left school, she was immediately recruited as a librarian in Charlton House Library, but it was not at all her dream job. This was teaching and, at 35, she finally qualified as a teacher. She had good reasons for the delay, though. “I chose to wait until I was in my thirties because I was too busy being a mum beforehand!” she explains. She went on to spend the next 20 years teaching at a local primary school.

Luciano, Jean’s husband, is also a very happy resident here in Maples, and last year the couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary! They met in 1955 at a dance at the London Astoria while Luciano was in the army. They married and when he was posted to Germany, Jean went with him. They remained there for several years but when Luciano was stationed in Aden (South Yemen), Jean returned to England with the children. The couple have three “wonderful” children with whom they have regular contact, several grandchildren and, recently, became fond great-grandparents following the birth of their “beautiful” great-granddaughter.

Jean’s favourite activities in the home include reading as well as doing her all-important puzzles and quizzes. “I find the people here at Maples very kind and very patient. I feel safe here, especially over the last year throughout the pandemic” she says. She’s also really pleased that outside entertainers are now able to come into the home, and is especially looking forward to seeing Bertie the dog again!

She is also kept busy in her role as resident ambassador, which means that she is effectively the voice of her fellow residents in meetings with the management team.

“Jean became our second resident ambassador last year and has really thrown herself into the role. She regularly attends the resident forum meetings and raises issues that are important to our residents. Because she is very approachable, the other residents are comfortable speaking with her. She is also very efficient at passing information on to the relevant departments and her input is invaluable,” says home manager Tony Onabanjo.