Veterans’ charity bids fond farewell to its longest serving member of staff

  • Barry Maunder has retired after 45 years with The Royal Star & Garter Homes
  • Health Care Assistant was the longest serving member of staff at the Charity
  • He worked his first shift in 1974 at the Charity’s former historic Richmond Home

Health Care Assistant Barry Maunder has retired after 45 years with the Charity, which cares for ex-Servicemen and women and their partners living with disability or dementia.

The 65-year-old completed his final shift at the Home in Surbiton last week and was given a rousing send-off with a leaving party on Friday, 15 February.

Barry first joined The Royal Star & Garter Homes in 1974, aged 19, working at the iconic Richmond Home. He said:

“I saw an advert in a local newspaper and applied as a carer, but back then it was known as a ward orderly. And I’ve been a carer all my life.”

During his time with the Charity, he has accompanied residents to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Buckingham Palace and on holidays. He has met members of royalty and also famed neurosurgeon Dr Ludwig Guttmann, who launched the forerunner to the Paralympic Games in 1948 with an archery competition between disabled men at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Star & Garter team.

Barry, from Richmond, has been working night shifts since 1989 and said:

“I’m looking forward to going to bed at a normal time! But in all honesty, I’ll miss the job. I’ll miss the residents and the people I work with. There’s been happy memories and sad memories, but I’ve loved every minute of it. I will definitely be back to visit.”

Giving advice to anyone thinking of embarking on a career in care with The Royal Star & Garter Homes, which is recruiting for its third Home in High Wycombe ahead of its opening in April, Barry added:

“It’s a very rewarding job. Just do the best you can for each resident, and understand that they’re an individual and a person, whatever disability they live with.”

Emrys Owen has worked for the charity for 36 years. Barry was one of the first members of staff he met when he started in 1982. He said:

“When I first started I shadowed Barry for two weeks, he showed me the ropes. He’s been a good worker and we will miss him. It won’t be the same without him.”

Director of Care Pauline Shaw paid tribute to Barry’s dedication to caring for ex-veterans. She said:

“We have been lucky to have Barry’s help in caring for our residents for 45 years. Residents and staff will miss him enormously but we are grateful for his dedication and wish him a happy, long retirement.”

Barry with the Charity’s Director of Care Pauline Shaw

In January dozens of Charity staff were recognised at a Long Service Awards at the Surbiton Home. The Charity is proud that so many people have spent a significant part of their working lives with The Royal Star & Garter Homes, and hopes it reflects well on the way it values staff.

For further information please contact:
Goolistan Cooper
Communications Officer
t: 0208 481 7669 / 07391 868796

Cally Madden
Marketing & Communications Manager
t: 020 8481 7692 / 07881 017299

About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured young men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today we provide specialist care to the whole military family in our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes. Disabled ex-Servicemen and women, and their spouses, can all benefit from our pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care.

We are in the process of building new Homes around the country to provide specialist nursing care for disabled ex-Service people in the best modern surroundings, including dementia care facilities to address this growing need. The Charity has award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands, and Surbiton, Surrey, which also enables the Charity to offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. Following the successes of the first two Homes, a third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is being built, with a planned opening in 2019.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.

Twitter: @starandgarter

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a member of the National Care Forum – the leading voice for not-for-profit care providers. A national perspective may be available from or by contacting 02476243619. More details on NCF available at

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