Meet the exemplary men and women who are working on Christmas Day

The Argus: Meet the exemplary men and women who are working on Christmas Day Meet the exemplary men and women who are working on Christmas Day

As you slumber by the fire after a belt-buckling festive feast, spare a thought for the selfless public servants and volunteers absent from the bosom of their family home. Life doesn’t stop for these exemplary men and women, as FINN SCOTT-DELANY finds out.

Most will be snugly shut away indoors tomorrow indulging to their heart’s content.

But for every beautifully basted bird, there could be a smouldering turkey catastrophe which firefighters are called out to.

As friends and families raise a glass to toast Christmas Day, some will overdo it and police officers and ambulance crews will be called out.

The emergency services give up their precious time to keep residents safe while others sacrifice their festivities to help others less fortunate than them.

Seafront officers will be on watch for Christmas Day swimmers who get into trouble, homeless hostel workers will make sure rough sleepers have a meal and bed for the night and ‘urban shep- herds’ will keep watch over the city’s flock of sheep.

The Brighton Christmas Day dip has ballooned from just 50 swimmers to thousands.

And after a man was nearly drowned two years ago, the seafront team will be on alert to give first aid and liaise with the coastguard in case of an emergency.

Meanwhile the rough sleeper team will check with people in doorways and streets if they have anywhere warm to go.

In St James’s Street, six workers ensure the 24 homeless residents of one of three council-run hostels New Steine Mews enjoy some festive spirit.

Brighton and Hove City Council staff donated more than 100 presents which means many home less residents will have two or three presents each.

New Steine Mews hostel manager Karen Leenders said: “For some who have been living on the street with no contact with their families for years these are the only presents they will receive this Christmas.

“This makes a real difference to their lives at what is a really difficult time because it means someone has thought of them and that’s important. Part of what we do is getting people ready to get back on their feet and move back into society.”

Meanwhile eight ‘urban shepherds’ will be out checking the sheep grazing the city’s ancient pastures on Christmas Day Under a council scheme residents are trained as ‘Lookerers’ to keep a close eye on the sheep.

They quickly deal with any in trouble, for example getting caught in brambles.

The sheep play a vital role in protecting the last remnants of this hugely important habitat for wildlife.

Volunteer Vivien, 62, said: “I love being an urban shepherd in Brighton and Hove. It’s a lovely way to get out into the countryside and I have knitted jumpers from the leftover wool that has been shorn and then spun for me.

“It’s my birthday on Christmas Day so I will be out bright and early with my flock with my husband because it’s a wonderful way to get the day started.”

PC ROSIE STRIBLING, 30, of Brighton Neighbourhood Patrol Team

“I’VE worked every Christmas since I joined the force seven years ago. It’s quite nice because there’s a really good festive spirit.

“It’s got to be done. It’s a 24/7 service and we’ve got to be out there keeping people safe.
“I don’t have a young family so I’m quite happy if it gives other people time to spend with their children. You still get some time at home.

“Every day is different and people drink more than usual over Christmas. Nothing major happened last year but we do see a rise in domestic incidents. Last Christmas we had a dedicated domestic violence appeal.

“People are at home more, drinking more. You get called to domestic incidents every day.
“Brighton city centre is very busy on Christmas Eve. Lots of people come home and get together with friends, it’s a really good atmosphere.

“It’s very jovial and people don’t really want to get arrested. It can be difficult to arrest people over Christmas but sometimes you have to do it.

“After eight hours you look forward to going home and having a glass of something.
“Then you get ready to do it all again.”

GRAHAM EASTERN, Coastguard area manager overseeing Shoreham, Bognor and Newhaven

“THE coastguard has a duty to respond to people in distress and it’s a rescue service that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“The team at Shoreham is made up of 11 volunteers who are extremely passionate about what they’re doing and helping the community.

“They have to be available at a moment’s notice and put their lives on hold.

“When their pager goes off they have to drop everything.

“Employers are usually really proud to have people like that working for them.

“Last Christmas we got called out to a windsurfer off the beach in Worthing, but he turned out to be fine.

“One New Year’s Eve we helped with a land search for a woman missing in the South Downs area. We did a shoreline search and then looked further inland but she was found in a neighbour’s garden.

“Everyone at Christmas will have families around and a turkey in the oven but if their pager goes off they will drop everything.”

RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN, White Watch Manager at Preston Circus Community Fire Station

“THERE will be 11 White Watch firefighters on duty this year and we try to get in a little early to allow the night watch to get home to their families.

“We spend the first part of the day carrying out checks and during Christmas Day attend emergency calls.

“We don’t have a traditional dinner and prefer to have a buffet with all the members bringing in food to share.

“For more than 30 years at Brighton we have done a Christmas Day parcel delivery to local children to raise money for the Firefighter’s Charity.

“It is difficult to predict if Christmas Day will be busy. Last year calls ranged from over-cooked food, property fires, people stuck in lifts, serious road crashes. Like any other day you never know what is going to happen but we all hope it will be quiet.

“Being away from your family can be difficult but we accept it just part of the job.

“You learn to really make the most of the years when you do have Christmas Day at home.
“The majority of the watch have young families and will of course miss them during the day and night shifts.

“Some families will pop into the station for a cup of tea with us and make the day as festive as possible.”

STEVE PETLEY, 34, South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) paramedic

“WORKING over Christmas is something we all sign up to when we join the ambulance service and it is decided by rota pot luck.

“I’m married but don't have children yet so I'm happy to work if it means those with young families can take it off.

“We do very well food-wise and our station management provide a selection of unhealthy snacks and fizzy drinks to ensure Christmas weight gain.

“Last year one of our colleagues came in before his family lunch to cook everyone bacon sandwiches and we always get left chocolates from patients.

“My family have got used to celebrating Christmas on a random day so I had an early celebration this year.

“There is a really good camaraderie and though we are not with our families we have a laugh with the staff at the hospital and the other emergency services.

“No one wants to be unwell over Christmas so it is more difficult to take people away from their families and celebrations.”

RICKY DIXON, 27, volunteer at First Base, a homeless day centre run by Brighton Housing Trust

“FIRST Base is a really important cause especially with the rise in homelessness.

“It’s really important to get involved and help such a valuable service.

“We help with laundry and food and have specialist case workers to find out why people are on the streets and give them help with benefit claims, and job interviews. We all help with the general running of the place.

“Christmas is a particularly difficult time to be on the streets. It emphasises people’s problems and is an incredibly lonely and isolating time of year when everyone else is at home with their families.

“Though some find themselves sleeping rough because of choices they’ve made, others have faced circumstances beyond their control.

“I worked with one woman who had a good job but became a victim of domestic violence. She had to leave her partner and job for her own safety and found herself sleeping on the streets.

“I have my own business so I’m in a very lucky situation being able to give up my time and I volunteer for various charities.

“The homeless are like the invisible population, people ignore them. It’s a problem that really needs resolving.”

Comments (15)

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12:01pm Wed 25 Dec 13

ourcoalition says...

As far as I am concerned these are all heroes - many will have been out all of yesterday and will be out today, helping those in difficulties.

Whether its the police at accidents, the Fire Service who suspended their fully justified strike action, and the other emergency services too numerous to mention, thank god we have them.

And when you do get a break, have the best one of all - you deserve it!!!!
As far as I am concerned these are all heroes - many will have been out all of yesterday and will be out today, helping those in difficulties. Whether its the police at accidents, the Fire Service who suspended their fully justified strike action, and the other emergency services too numerous to mention, thank god we have them. And when you do get a break, have the best one of all - you deserve it!!!! ourcoalition

12:31pm Wed 25 Dec 13

StevieD says...

ourcoalition wrote:
As far as I am concerned these are all heroes - many will have been out all of yesterday and will be out today, helping those in difficulties.

Whether its the police at accidents, the Fire Service who suspended their fully justified strike action, and the other emergency services too numerous to mention, thank god we have them.

And when you do get a break, have the best one of all - you deserve it!!!!
Well said and heartily agree.
[quote][p][bold]ourcoalition[/bold] wrote: As far as I am concerned these are all heroes - many will have been out all of yesterday and will be out today, helping those in difficulties. Whether its the police at accidents, the Fire Service who suspended their fully justified strike action, and the other emergency services too numerous to mention, thank god we have them. And when you do get a break, have the best one of all - you deserve it!!!![/p][/quote]Well said and heartily agree. StevieD

7:02pm Wed 25 Dec 13

clubrob6 says...

Walking home after being to family for my Christmas lunch,i noticed several beach huts on hove seafront blown over,in a shelter near the mini golf course there were several homeless people sitting with a smile on there face as two women had just served them up Christmas lunch with all the trimmings now that's what I call community spirit well done to those two women.
Walking home after being to family for my Christmas lunch,i noticed several beach huts on hove seafront blown over,in a shelter near the mini golf course there were several homeless people sitting with a smile on there face as two women had just served them up Christmas lunch with all the trimmings now that's what I call community spirit well done to those two women. clubrob6

11:31pm Wed 25 Dec 13

whoee! says...

What a bunch of mugs lol
What a bunch of mugs lol whoee!

2:45am Thu 26 Dec 13

abracadab says...

Strange, yesterdays article stated that BHCC lifeguards were closing the beach to Xmas swimmers and that they wouldn't be on duty.
http://www.theargus.
co.uk/news/10898942.
Brighton_beach_close
d_for_Christmas_Day_
swim_over_safety_fea
rs/?ref=mr
Strange, yesterdays article stated that BHCC lifeguards were closing the beach to Xmas swimmers and that they wouldn't be on duty. http://www.theargus. co.uk/news/10898942. Brighton_beach_close d_for_Christmas_Day_ swim_over_safety_fea rs/?ref=mr abracadab

9:09am Thu 26 Dec 13

Tallywhacker says...

abracadab wrote:
Strange, yesterdays article stated that BHCC lifeguards were closing the beach to Xmas swimmers and that they wouldn't be on duty.
http://www.theargus.

co.uk/news/10898942.

Brighton_beach_close

d_for_Christmas_Day_

swim_over_safety_fea

rs/?ref=mr
Seafront officers closing the beach. There are no lifeguards in the winter they are only there May-September. And after the recent storm you would have to be pretty stupid to be going for a swim in the sea, especially as there have never been any lifeguards to drag you out when you start drowning. Besides if you think you need lifeguards whenever you go swimming you shouldn't be swimming anyway it's called common sense and adult responsibility.
[quote][p][bold]abracadab[/bold] wrote: Strange, yesterdays article stated that BHCC lifeguards were closing the beach to Xmas swimmers and that they wouldn't be on duty. http://www.theargus. co.uk/news/10898942. Brighton_beach_close d_for_Christmas_Day_ swim_over_safety_fea rs/?ref=mr[/p][/quote]Seafront officers closing the beach. There are no lifeguards in the winter they are only there May-September. And after the recent storm you would have to be pretty stupid to be going for a swim in the sea, especially as there have never been any lifeguards to drag you out when you start drowning. Besides if you think you need lifeguards whenever you go swimming you shouldn't be swimming anyway it's called common sense and adult responsibility. Tallywhacker

9:31am Thu 26 Dec 13

menowhere says...

am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.
am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it. menowhere

9:40am Thu 26 Dec 13

MPC1000 says...

menowhere wrote:
am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.
No. You're completely wrong. You get double time with no additional hours off. But don't let the truth get in the way of your cynical claptrap.
[quote][p][bold]menowhere[/bold] wrote: am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.[/p][/quote]No. You're completely wrong. You get double time with no additional hours off. But don't let the truth get in the way of your cynical claptrap. MPC1000

11:09am Thu 26 Dec 13

ourcoalition says...

And if you work in the public or private sectors, and usually have a Union to negotiate on your behalf, then double or treble time is not unusual.

Some do it for the money, some to provide a service, and some for both (it was both in my case for about 30 years!).
And if you work in the public or private sectors, and usually have a Union to negotiate on your behalf, then double or treble time is not unusual. Some do it for the money, some to provide a service, and some for both (it was both in my case for about 30 years!). ourcoalition

4:11pm Thu 26 Dec 13

clubrob6 says...

Tallywhacker wrote:
abracadab wrote:
Strange, yesterdays article stated that BHCC lifeguards were closing the beach to Xmas swimmers and that they wouldn't be on duty.
http://www.theargus.


co.uk/news/10898942.


Brighton_beach_close


d_for_Christmas_Day_


swim_over_safety_fea


rs/?ref=mr
Seafront officers closing the beach. There are no lifeguards in the winter they are only there May-September. And after the recent storm you would have to be pretty stupid to be going for a swim in the sea, especially as there have never been any lifeguards to drag you out when you start drowning. Besides if you think you need lifeguards whenever you go swimming you shouldn't be swimming anyway it's called common sense and adult responsibility.
Seafront officers are on duty all year round,lifeguards are only on in peak season but seafront officers are on duty all year.
[quote][p][bold]Tallywhacker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]abracadab[/bold] wrote: Strange, yesterdays article stated that BHCC lifeguards were closing the beach to Xmas swimmers and that they wouldn't be on duty. http://www.theargus. co.uk/news/10898942. Brighton_beach_close d_for_Christmas_Day_ swim_over_safety_fea rs/?ref=mr[/p][/quote]Seafront officers closing the beach. There are no lifeguards in the winter they are only there May-September. And after the recent storm you would have to be pretty stupid to be going for a swim in the sea, especially as there have never been any lifeguards to drag you out when you start drowning. Besides if you think you need lifeguards whenever you go swimming you shouldn't be swimming anyway it's called common sense and adult responsibility.[/p][/quote]Seafront officers are on duty all year round,lifeguards are only on in peak season but seafront officers are on duty all year. clubrob6

4:43pm Thu 26 Dec 13

sweetnigel says...

MPC1000 wrote:
menowhere wrote:
am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.
No. You're completely wrong. You get double time with no additional hours off. But don't let the truth get in the way of your cynical claptrap.
I'm obviously not typical because for my 12 hour shift working for SECAmb Ambulance Service out of Shoreham on Christmas Day, I got the ordinary pay I get for any ordinary weekend (25% above standard once you reach a pre-set threshold) and no additional hours off. I'm not complaining but I wanted to make sure the public know. Incidentally at Shoreham, we got no festive goodies from our management or patients. However, a kind colleague left some bread & cheese and mince pies for us lucky ones working on the day - many thanks to them!
[quote][p][bold]MPC1000[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]menowhere[/bold] wrote: am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.[/p][/quote]No. You're completely wrong. You get double time with no additional hours off. But don't let the truth get in the way of your cynical claptrap.[/p][/quote]I'm obviously not typical because for my 12 hour shift working for SECAmb Ambulance Service out of Shoreham on Christmas Day, I got the ordinary pay I get for any ordinary weekend (25% above standard once you reach a pre-set threshold) and no additional hours off. I'm not complaining but I wanted to make sure the public know. Incidentally at Shoreham, we got no festive goodies from our management or patients. However, a kind colleague left some bread & cheese and mince pies for us lucky ones working on the day - many thanks to them! sweetnigel

4:50pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

And if you don't have a car you have to book a cab to and from work which costs an arm and a leg wiping out the double time my wife got working as a nurse as no public transport runs from late Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. So much for sustainable transport Mr Davey.
I bet You Davey and HJarrs were tucked up cosy for Christmas Day and didn't have to worry about how they were getting home at 11pm on Christmas Day after a 12 hour shift.
And if you don't have a car you have to book a cab to and from work which costs an arm and a leg wiping out the double time my wife got working as a nurse as no public transport runs from late Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. So much for sustainable transport Mr Davey. I bet You Davey and HJarrs were tucked up cosy for Christmas Day and didn't have to worry about how they were getting home at 11pm on Christmas Day after a 12 hour shift. Maxwell's Ghost

5:40pm Thu 26 Dec 13

DCCCCCC says...

menowhere wrote:
am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.
I work for the public sector and I don't get that for working on public hols, wish I did!
[quote][p][bold]menowhere[/bold] wrote: am I right in thinking that if you are employed by the public sector your on triple time plus hours off another day? not bad really when you look at it is it.[/p][/quote]I work for the public sector and I don't get that for working on public hols, wish I did! DCCCCCC

10:44pm Thu 26 Dec 13

RK_Brighton says...

Let's also remember the doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants working in our hospitals over Christmas. All equally important jobs to those in the article to help those who sadly fall ill or have accidents.

My wife's just finished working her Boxing Day shift and it's been quite busy.

Though no extra pay, just an extra day off to compensate for working a bank holiday....I'd like to know who gets this double and triple time. The only people I've known to get extra pay for bank holidays works for a supermarket.
Let's also remember the doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants working in our hospitals over Christmas. All equally important jobs to those in the article to help those who sadly fall ill or have accidents. My wife's just finished working her Boxing Day shift and it's been quite busy. Though no extra pay, just an extra day off to compensate for working a bank holiday....I'd like to know who gets this double and triple time. The only people I've known to get extra pay for bank holidays works for a supermarket. RK_Brighton

4:05am Mon 30 Dec 13

thelieshurts says...

I appreciate that people above have to work on this day.Also hospitals, nursing homes, care workers
Also on this day people work that aren't not essential that have to work.
Hotel workers, restaurants,shop workers won't be long before it be comes a normal bank holiday.
Brighton use to the most religiouse place in Brightain.
Now the least place in Brightain .
In a few years ,shops will be open on the 25/12 , every person will be working. (I may be wrong. )
p
I appreciate that people above have to work on this day.Also hospitals, nursing homes, care workers Also on this day people work that aren't not essential that have to work. Hotel workers, restaurants,shop workers won't be long before it be comes a normal bank holiday. Brighton use to the most religiouse place in Brightain. Now the least place in Brightain . In a few years ,shops will be open on the 25/12 , every person will be working. (I may be wrong. ) p thelieshurts

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