Meet the PPG Members
Carol Voake – Treasurer
My name is Carol Voake and I live in Meads with my lovely husband of 54 years Michael. On leaving the Holy Cross Convent School in New Malden in 1957 my working life commenced in the Treasurer’s Office of Sutton & Cheam Borough Council. I then commuted to London to work for the Chief Buyer of Philips Electrical. After marrying Michael I worked locally in Surbiton in the advertising department of Winthrop Pharmaceuticals.
We moved to East Dean in 1971 and registered as patients at College Road surgery. Michael and I opened our own retail jewellery shop in Eastbourne and worked together for twenty-five years until retiring eighteen years ago. I now meet many of our customers on their visits to the Practice and it is lovely to catch up with you all.
I was invited to help start the Lighthouse Practice Patients Forum in July 2006.
I am the Treasurer and also volunteer to help with the flu clinics and patient surveys.
I also look after the various information posters and leaflets displayed on the notice boards for patients. After the major refit of the College Road Surgery I was pleased to find a local photographer, Roger Whellams, willing to display his work around the waiting room areas which has added interest and life to the walls. I am now a full-time carer and enjoy flower arranging and walking by the sea in my spare time.
After working in professional accounting offices and commerce and industry I spent my last fifteen years before retirement in the NHS and with the hospital trust from its inception. I was pleased to receive an invitation to be a founder member of the Forum as it gave the opportunity to continue to be involved, albeit in a small way, with the progress of the Health Service. The Lighthouse Practice took an early initiative in the South by forming the Forum and the first meeting took place in September 2006.
I was Chairman for four years from 2009 to 2012 and with the support and great involvement of the other members the highpoint was the Health and Wellbeing Event at the Winter Garden that was a joint effort with Seaside and Arlington Road. This took months of planning and was one of those rare occasions when everything pretty well went to schedule. Another enjoyable ‘outreach’ happening was the Stroke Event at the Victoria Baptist Church. Opportunities to work with, and meet, many wonderful people.
The Forum’s 100th meeting was held in July 2018 with a celebration at College Road. Being one of the original members along with Carol Voake, I was well placed to write a short history of the Forum for the event titled ‘Twelve Years and A Century Of Meetings’.
Probably inevitably, the average age of members through the years could be described as ‘senior’ and sadly, because of that, a number of those are no longer with us although they are still fondly remembered.
A significant feature, from the beginning, has been the level of trust placed in the Forum, (now known as the Lighthouse Patient Participation Group or PPG) by the Managing Partner Amanda Sayer. The way that Amanda has shared information with the members has been a great catalyst in raising the esteem and quality of the PPG.
Nearly thirteen years on I still enjoy being in the PPG, especially attendance at the annual flu clinics. It is interesting, and a great privilege, to work with other members ‘on the inside’ to try to understand the complexities of running a successful modern practice in the huge organisation that is the NHS.