St Barnabas love birds have collectively worked over 9,600 days at St Barnabas

Love birds, David and Marie Pattison have collectively racked up around 9,600 working days at St Barnabas – that’s 40 years hard work!

Marie interviewed as an Office Junior aged 16, and began her role at St Barnabas in 1986 at the Norman House office on Steep Hill. Shortly afterwards, David’s mum (who worked in a St Barnabas shop) told him about a volunteering opportunity as a Van Driver there.

David decided to ask Marie out for a drink, so they went to a pub in Bracebridge Heath on their first date.

David said:

“It was definitely love at first sight. Marie was hard working and you could tell she was the sort of woman who would enjoy looking after me.”

One thing led to another, and 6 months down the line David decided that Marie was the lady he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He proposed at the Carpenters Arms in Fiskerton after asking Marie’s dad for permission, but didn’t go down on one knee!

They got married two years later on 11th June 1988, aged 21 and 22. Funnily enough, St Barnabas also celebrates its anniversary on this date!

Marie and David now have a 25 year old daughter called Laura, a 5 year old grandchild called Owen, and a cat called Annie.

When asked what the secret to a happy marriage is, Marie said:

“We’re content in each other’s company and like to make sure we have enough space to do our own thing.”

Now aged 50 and 51, Marie and David have seen dramatic changes at St Barnabas since they first began working here.

Marie said:

“It has grown beyond recognition – there only used to be 3 people in my office and we did all the admin for the entire company.”

“I once had the pleasure of meeting Prince William, who was absolutely lovely. He seemed very interested in the work the Hospice does, and spent some time with a couple of children whose mother had died at the Hospice.”

David added:

I also met Richard Todd, who was an actor in The Dam Busters. He looked exactly the same as he did on screen, although his car was a bit of an old banger!”

Both Marie and David agree that St Barnabas Hospice has played an integral part in their lives all the way from bringing them both together, to the present day. In particular, St Barnabas has cared for Marie’s grandmother, David’s step-father and also David’s sister.

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