The mother of the 100th soldier killed in Afghanistan has found her ‘comfort place’ running a care home and looking after elderly people.
Georgina Gamble’s son Pte Daniel Gamble was 22 when he was killed in Helmand Province by a suicide bomber just two weeks before his 23rd birthday.
He joined the Parachute Regiment Second Battalion in October 2006, having gained his parachute ‘wings.’ The Army recognised his innate skill at foreign languages and sent him on a 40-week full-time course to learn the Afghan language Pashto. He delivered a presentation to 300 soldiers on Pashto culture.
In March 2008, on Operation Herrick VII, deployed as a rifleman he was on routine foot patrol in the Upper Sangin Valley when he was killed alongside two colleagues, Ptes Cuthbertson and Murray.
Now his mother Georgina, who has taken over the reins at Hastings Court on The Ridge, Uckfield, says working in the care industry is her true calling after spending many years in education.
She said: “I’ve found my comfort place. Working in care is where I was meant to be. I started out running my own spa, then I went into teaching.
“I was head of school at Lewisham College in South London when my son was killed and after that I needed a change of direction.”
Georgina initially started up on her own as a consultant for small businesses but after her family’s devastating blow.
She felt she needed to demonstrate care for others. A friend who worked in the care industry suggested she could use her skills to great effect in this area.
“Up to that time I’d no previous experience of care other than looking after my mum who had cancer,” said Georgina.
“But I knew how to manage a business and I found I preferred working with older rather than younger people.”
She managed Wadhurst Manor care home in Wealden for five years and was appointed manager of Hastings Court, which offers residential, nursing and dementia care for up to 80 people, last month.
“I’m thrilled about my new position and I’m looking forward to getting to know the residents, families and the community.
“My ambition is to achieve a Care Quality Commission rating of ‘outstanding’”
Jo Coughlan, operations manager for group Oakland Primecare, said Georgina’s passion for care was ‘obvious from the moment we met her.’
“Georgina has a wealth of experience, great ideas and a tenacious spirit and we are delighted to have her working with us,” she said