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Posted on Jan 19 2022 by Fiona Bailey

The skilled maintenance people who keep all three sites across the charity ticking over smoothly have clocked up a more than 278 years’ service between them.

Multi Skilled Craftsman Stefano Palminteri, based in Northampton, is the longest serving member of the team having notched up 43 years with St Andrew’s, followed by Gary Skelton with 25 years under his utility belt.

But overall the number of years’ service between the 20 staff members on the Estates and Facilities team, who do a range of jobs from plumbing to water hygiene, have clocked up a total of 278 years.

Stefano, who joined the charity when he was 24 and is now 67, said: “I’m still happy here after all these years. It’s not a bad place to work at all. Day to day, I do all sorts of things from plastering to fixing locks, it’s never a boring job as you’re never stuck in one room. I’m quite an active person so this role is ideal for me. Plus I work with a great bunch of lads.”

Having worked on site for so long, Stefano has seen a lot of change across St Andrew’s.

He said: “When I first came here, they didn’t even have a security office, which nowadays would be completely unheard of.

“I also remember where Lowther now is there used to be a bowling green and all the staff would go and play when they finished their shift. Workbridge used to be an abattoir and we had two tennis courts where the Three Shires is now. We also used to have an allotment where the Support Service is now where we’d all grow our vegetables.”

Stefano also had the fortunate experience of meeting Princess Diana and Prince Charles when they visited the hospital which was a career highlight for him.

Alexander Trigg, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “I feel I am very fortunate to oversee such a dedicated and loyal team with more than 275 years’ experience with St Andrew’s between them.

“I think it’s fair to say that very often we, as a hospital, tend to focus a lot on our clinical staff members who, undeniably, do a fantastic job. But, I think sometimes it’s very easy to overlook the people who keep our sites ticking over.

“The Estates and Facilities team is instrumental in ensuring the sites are safe to work on, the buildings around us are maintained well and that when things break, they get fixed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my hardworking team for all that they do at St Andrew’s and to say, here’s to another 200 years.”