Annette's a veteran after three decades at Whitefoord House
A kind-hearted support worker has been honoured with an award for her outstanding service with forces veterans.
Annette Miller is the longest serving member of staff at Whitefoord House in Edinburgh, a residence for homeless veterans, and was presented with the award by fellow staff members in recognition of her efforts.
The 52-year-old, from Penicuik, has spent 30 years in her role providing support for men and women who have served their country in the armed forces.
She started working at Glencorse Barracks in 1986 before moving two years later to take up a position as part of the kitchen staff at Whitefoord House, where she has spent the rest of her working life.
Annette recently celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary, having got married just weeks before starting work at the residence.
When not at work Annette enjoys walking her beloved pet dogs and spending time in her garden.
The best part of the job for Annette, affectionately known as Nettie by the residents, is “being part of a big family” where she spends much of her time supporting the veterans and listening to their stories.
She said: “I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many great characters during these years, including veterans of the Great War, who resided here in my early days, as well as many Second World War veterans who were prone to fight each other when arguments broke out over which regiment was the best!”
Annette was gifted a bunch of flowers and an inscribed crystal vase by staff and veterans and was moved to tears. “I was so overwhelmed and surprised,” she said.
After some years working as catering staff, Annette decided she would study to become a support worker and sat her SQA exams which she passed with flying colours before taking up her latest position.
She has seen many changes in the home in the last three decades. She said: “These past 30 years have been amazing. Whitefoord House has moved from being a hostel-style facility with communal bathrooms and very old-fashioned décor to a modern living space where all the residents live in comfortable and modern suites.”
One of her favourite aspects of the job is the day trips that she enjoys with the residents when they visit Edinburgh museums and the Castle.
The job is not without its challenges though, as Annette shared some of the stories she’s been told, which are hard to hear. But she takes comfort in being able to help everyone who passes through the doors.
Annette is loved by staff and veterans alike who were thrilled to honour her and she has no plans to stop working there any time soon.
She said: “It’s very rewarding working with the veterans. I hope to work here for another 30 years!”