Pay it Forward* : Happy Retirement to our fantastic finance administrator, Sandie Raynor

Published on: 31/03/2021

They say good things come in small packages and with Sandie Raynor that is completely true.

She jokes that she was given her first job after leaving school because she was slightly smaller than the manager who took her on!

This was for the worldwide company Lubrizol who used to have a factory in Bromborough and, although they left Wirral in 2006, they still boast that they provide unmatched science that unlocks immense possibilities at the molecular level.

Wow! That describes Sandie.

She spent 32 happy years at Lubrizol after joining as an office junior in ‘distribution’ in 1974 and later she worked in ‘finance’ for many years.

She’s now a dynamo, known right across the hospice, and she’s retiring on 31st March 2021!

She could have retired after her time at Lubrizol but she really wanted to keep working but now, she assures us, “this time, it’s for good.

We’ll miss her in so many ways.

After twelve years at Wirral Hospice St John’s, we wanted to find out a little bit about the person who for so long has made sure our specialist nurses, and the rest of our hospice teams, are all paid on time!

She’s Wirral born and bred and life has conspired to bring her back to the building where the finance team now sits at the hospice. It was, at one time, the children’s ‘Wendy Ward’ at Clatterbridge Hospital and Sandie spent time there (here) when she was an infant.

Dad, George, would have been happy to wrap her in cotton wool, as any doting dad might, but it was really mum Muriel who encouraged Sandie to go for it, to live life to the full.

You see, Sandie has lived with a defective heart valve her whole life but careful monitoring and appropriate exercise has meant being able to live a full and active life with the condition.

In fact, if you didn’t know, you just wouldn’t know. She’s a bundle of energy, buzzing round the place, happy to advise and always ready with a quick quip.

After leaving Lubrizol, Sandie and husband Richie spent a little bit of time travelling, but when Sandie was ready to go back to work she initially chose ‘temping’, and the next three  years were spent in finance and administration at the likes of Bakemark (now CSM) and a very short stint at Park Hampers (ask her!)

Eventually she came to Wirral Hospice St John’s as a temp in 2009, in admin for fundraising, until a permanent role opened up in finance for which Sandie had all the credentials. She’s been here ever since.

She’s seen at many hospice events and is well known for her appearances on the Inpatients ward dressed as a jockey to support the Grand National Sweep we arrange for our patients and some of the staff.

Husband, Richie, was a prolific runner and a few years back he did the ‘Tour of Merseyside‘ run to raise funds for the hospice. It’s six runs of various distance across one week and totals 52 miles across the Liverpool City Region. He raised a nice three grand too! Cheers Rich! 

Sandie’s the youngest of 6 children, her siblings Pat and George were twins (George now sadly passed away), then there is Lawrie (known as Beau), Garry, Val and then, their baby sister, Sandie. They’re a close and ever growing family with Sandie literally losing count of the number of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and even great-great nieces and nephews she has.

She remembers the surprise for them all, at a family bash for her 60th, when Uncle Richie dressed up as Santa (picture at top of page here) to the delight of the very youngest of them all!

At the hospice, the finance and fundraising teams share the same building and Sandie rounds everyone up on a Friday for, what was once, the teacake run and which has now become the bacon butty run.

We’re definitely gonna miss her!

 Of her time at the hospice she says,

“It’s been really lovely. A most rewarding place to work and although there is inevitable sadness from time-time, we do, often with the patients, as on Grand National weekend, have lots of fun. I’ve worked with some wonderful people, staff and volunteers. I know the hospice will always be here for our community.”

Sandie and Richie are planning to spend their retirement on lots of holidays. Probably mostly in the UK as they want to have their 10 month old German Shepherd, Krieger, with them whenever they go. We’ve seen a little of Krieger (German word for Warrior, and he certainly is) at the hospice on occasion and he’s going to be keeping them busy in the years ahead!

Happy Retirement Sandie. Everyone at Wirral Hospice St John’s wishes you all the very best!

(* ‘Pay it Forward’ is a concept whereby, if somebody does you a good deed that you will do somebody else, not necessarily the person who did you the good deed in the first place, a good deed also).


Sandie’s Farewell Poem

I’ve been a working girl since ’74

It’s time for me to ‘clock-watch’, no more.

Early retirement, March 2021, for me

Pack up my pens, shutdown my PC.

No payroll to do and meeting timescales,

Off to The Lakes or, The Yorkshire Dales.

Well, we would if it was life as we all once knew,

But, in the meantime, I’ve got plenty to do!

On the day I retire there may be some tears,

You see, I’ve worked at Wirral Hospice St John’s for, fully, twelve years.

I’m fortunate to having a loving family, friends and good health,

When you add all that up, you’d say I have wealth.

I’ve enjoyed working at the hospice, and met some wonderful people too,

I won’t miss working but I’ll miss all of you.

So all that is left, before I go,

Is to wish you all well and a kind, Cheerio!

(Sandra Raynor : 2021)