Updates from the Ryman community

Weary Dunlop

Heidi does whatever it takes to help residents

Written by Margot Taylor
on December 11, 2019

From line-dancing, to setting up Chromecasts, and organising guest speakers, helping Weary Dunlop Retirement Village residents with “whatever they need” is all in a day’s work for village concierge Heidi Reece.

Heidi says the new concierge role, which she started in October after working as a Ryman leisure and lifestyle assistant for four years, suits her to a tee.

“Organising activities, being on the phone and talking, talking, talking, that’s me.”

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Originally from Trinidad, Heidi brings a wealth of experience in the disability and teaching sectors to the role.

“All of my jobs have involved care and teaching.

“But in this role every day is completely different from the last.”

It is no exaggeration to say that the concierge role is extremely varied.

“My job is to help residents with whatever they need help with.”

This requirement means she is often “picking things up” as she goes along.

“We have a line-dancing class, but I find that the time between classes is too long for some residents, and me, so we are having extra lessons.

“I know nothing about line-dancing!” she laughs.

Heidi is first port of call for many residents when their needs change.

“At the moment I’m reading a bunch of books about how to develop your memory.

“Many of our residents say they would benefit from having a better memory.

“Learning tips for remembering pins and passwords, for example.

“I want to run a class in February on how to improve your memory.”

Her can-do attitude means she has become somewhat of a technology guru around the village.

“The tech stuff has really taken off, and I find that quite a lot of my time is doing that.

“Residents come up to me and book me in.”

The role also sees her working with the village’s head chef Visva Lawrence to plan international meal event menus and organising weekend walking trips.

Heidi is so in demand with residents, she sometimes power walks from one varied request for help to another.

But this, she says, is why she loves her job.

“I really enjoy the social aspect, and I really do love helping people.

“I just love that the role is so fluid.”

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