An Isle of Wight carer has bid an emotional farewell to residents and staff at a home in Sandown, as she retires after 35 years.

Christine McDonald has worked at Sandown Nursing Home, on Grove Road, since March 1, 1988 — when it first opened.

The 63-year-old had previously been at the former Fairlee Hospital, where she started working in 1981.

After its closure, she joined the nursing home and worked nightshifts so she was able to look after her children.

35 years on, she is hanging up her uniform for the final time.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet", she told the County Press.

"It's strange to think I'm not going back. I shall miss working there, the home, the residents and the staff.

"I loved working with the elderly. It was very rewarding but sad at times."

Since 2001, the nursing home has been run by owners Richard and Elizabeth Davies.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Mr Davies paid tribute to Christine's professional and compassionate nature. 

He said:"Nowadays it is rare for anyone to remain in one employment so long, and I wish to thank Chris for the stability she has brought to the nursing home throughout the whole of the life of the Home to date. 

"Her retirement is very much deserved, and we will miss her presence with us. We wish her all the very best."

The home said their goodbyes to Christine at a small celebration on Wednesday (1).

With three grandchildren, and a holiday coming up, she said she will have plenty to keep her occupied in retirement.