Retiring after 32 years’ service

Stepping down, Coun Rob Kendrick.
Stepping down, Coun Rob Kendrick.

After more than three decades’ service, a Metheringham man – and district councillor – has retired from Lincolnshire’s mental health and learning disability trust.

Coun Rob Kendrick, 64, has stepped down from his role of volunteer services manager at the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

Rob – a member of North Kesteven District Council for Metheringham – started working for the NHS back in 1984 at Rauceby Hospital where he developed the volunteer service, bringing in new ideas and expanding it into community projects across South Lincolnshire.

During his time with LPFT he served on Department of Health advisory panels, set up small mental health charities supporting Trust units, was involved with the establishment of the Rural Stress Network (today’s Rural Support Network), and introduced the popular ‘Pets As Therapy’ (PAT cats and dogs) service into local teams.

Rob estimates that he must have interviewed about 1,000 volunteer applicants, from all walks of life and every occupation, saying he will miss working alongside them and the impact they can have.

“Working with volunteers is a unique job in the NHS and one which is very rewarding,” he said. “Our volunteers, some of whom are current or former service users, contribute so much for the benefit of others. It’s always great to hear from a volunteer saying how much they have valued the experience and in some cases how it has helped them secure a job, college place or helped boost their own confidence.”

He said he hopes through his work he has helped support service users and reduced the stigma of mental ill health.

“It’s been great to work with some very supportive colleagues and partner organisations,” he continued.

He paid a ‘sincere thank you’ to all those who have sent him cards, gifts, and messages, saying: “It’s been very touching to read the very kind messages from across the Trust and beyond.”

Rob is now looking forward to spending more time in his ‘man cave’ at home and indulging in the other great passions in his life – reading, painting, and drawing.

LPFT chairman Paul Devlin said: “Rob made a real difference to the NHS in Lincolnshire. His steadfast contribution over so many years introduced and sustained volunteering at LPFT.

“This brought benefit to hundreds of volunteers who learned skills and gave something back to the NHS, but also for the many patients and carers they supported.

“Rob will be missed and I am grateful for all he has given the NHS.”