Theresa Dooney

Theresa Dooney

Theresa joined Dame Hannahs 20 years ago in 2002 and has been a popular member of staff ever since. Originally from Malta, she moved to Plymouth nearly fifty years ago and is about to celebrate her golden wedding anniversary as well as her 70th birthday.

She started working as a houseparent for the students in Gillies Bungalow before moving to Newberry the following year and then on to Marchesi. She worked long hours and was responsible for supporting the students in the bungalows and helping them to attend Further Education. While the students were in school she was responsible for cleaning the bungalows, doing the ironing and helping the students to prepare the evening meal. She made sure the students contacted their families on a regular basis and they went home during the school holidays.

For personal reasons Theresa left Dame Hannahs because of the long shifts but she missed the students too much so, after six months, she returned in a part-time role. She supported the young adults in all the bungalows and got to know everyone very well. Six years ago she moved to Arthur where she supports the young adults with chores and cooking and with gardening in the Spring and Summer. She also supports them with appointments and contacting parents.

Theresa has been supporting Emma for several years now. Emma loves getting involved in all activities including art, make up, pampering, baking, cooking and gardening as well as shopping trips and outings to the cinema and theatre. She has got to know Emma’s parents really well and organises video calls twice a week keeping them updated and involved with everything. She always remembers family birthdays and special days.

Theresa met her husband when he was based in Malta with the Royal Marines. They have been married for nearly 50 years and have three children and one granddaughter. Before joining Dame Hannahs Theresa worked in Plymouth for the Royal Navy as the Playgroup Supervisor and then at Honeybourne House for ten years as a senior support worker to adults with learning disabilities.

“I love working in Arthur, especially when the young adults are well, happy and enjoying life. I love being part of a team and supporting the young adults to be as independent as possible. It is so lovely to see how much they can achieve, even the smallest task. And I love just seeing their smiles. I treat everyone with dignity and respect as I would like to be treated. I am seen as a Mother figure by both the staff and young adults and am always ready to help and give advice when asked. I am very calm and patient and do love a challenge. I am not ready to retire yet as I feel I still have lots to give to the young adults to help enrich their lives.”