Two members of staff at a Shropshire pharmacy are celebrating 55 years service between them – and thousands raised for charity.
Nicky Pearson, 49, joined Lunts Pharmacy in Pontesbury when she was just 16 – and has since completed a host of qualifications
And Jan McDermott, from Minsterley, has worked there 19 years – but has worked for the Lunts company for 31 years.
When she returned to work after a break to have children she went to the Pontesbury pharmacy.
“I wanted to go back to work and Martin Lunt said he wanted me to work here,” she said.
“It’s a great place to work so I never even considered saying no, and I’m still here now.
“It’s a good team to work in and I really enjoy it.”
Nicky said she never considered another career and loves going to work at the pharmacy in Main Road every day.
She is Pontesbury born and bred and there are not many people in the village who don’t know her.
“My mum started working here when I was born, so I have been in and out all my life,” she said.
“I have always liked make-up and meeting and greeting people so I immediately took an interest.
“I started working Saturdays as soon as I could and before long they would ring me up asking me to come in after school because they had had an order in.
“You get regular customers, you know everyone and they become friends too.”
Nicky has completed many qualifications to become a dispensing technician and help to quit advisor as well as other qualifications in beauty.
Between them the pair have also helped raise thousands of pounds for charity over the years.
Jan has suffered with breast cancer and lost her mum to pancreatic cancer as well as losing her husband to cancer. Nicky lost her mum to bowel and liver cancer too.
“It’s something very important to us to raise money for charity,” Nicky added.
“We didn’t really consider whether or not to do it, just when we heard about the MacMillan Coffee Mornings we knew we would do it.
“But it’s not us that has raised the money, it’s the local people who have done it.”
At the annual event in September Jan comes in on her day off and mans a table out the front of the pharmacy. They sell cakes and have a tombola in an event that lasts all day.
For their first one Jan and Nicky collected £3,500. At each since they have always raised over £1,000 – with £1,500 being collected on another occasion.
“We just enjoy doing it” said Jan.
“We are very lucky in that we both love our jobs and have the same values and vision.
“There are times where we don’t talk much because we both know exactly what the other needs doing, is about to do or what they’re thinking.”
Owner of Lunts Pharmacies, Martin Lunt, said the pair have made a big difference.
He said: “We regard the Pharmacy as an important part of the community as well as supporting the health and well being of the local population.
“The Pontesbury pharmacy was one of first wave of Shropshire pharmacies to be accredited as a Health Living Pharmacy – recognised for offering a broad range of high quality services to meet local need and improving the health of the local population.
“This is something we are very proud of and was largely due to the enthusiasm and hard work of Nicky and Jan.
“They also provide a minor ailments service to reduce the numbers of unnecessary visits to the GP surgery.”