Cate’s six decades in social care recognised at function

Cate’s six decades in social care recognised at function

8 May 2024

A LOCAL woman whose social work and community care care career spanned an incredible six decades has said farewell to friends and colleagues to enjoy retirement.

Cate Small’s career began as a trainee in 1974 with a brief role at the Southern Health Board before moving to the Eastern Board five years later.

And her focus on family and child care services, based in the Down area, has been a cornerstone of her career.

Throughout her career, Cate navigated various transitions within the Down Unit of Management, Down Lisburn Trust and presently with the South Eastern Trust.

In November 1995, she embarked on a new chapter in her career, transitioning from family and child care services to lending her expertise to the vital realm of maternity services, a decision that would further enrich her professional journey.

In a heartwarming celebration held at the Burrendale Hotel, Cate’s colleagues from both social work and midwifery disciplines gathered for a dual celebration, marking her retirement and celebrating her 70th birthday. 

The presence of her family including sisters, children and grandchildren, added an extra layer of joy and significance to the occasion, making it an unforgettable evening for those attending.

Reflecting on her remarkable career, Cate shared fond memories of her time within the health trust, highlighting the friendships she made along the way and the impact of working within multidisciplinary settings. 

Her time within family and child care and maternity services outlined her dedication and passion in providing holistic care and support for mothers and families.

Some of the reflections from her colleagues shared at her celebration included: “She is a lady with grace and integrity.”

Another colleague said she would miss Cate’s presence on the ward, along with her quiet, reassuring demeanour really supportive.

“Cate had a wealth of knowledge about families spanning generations,” the former colleague continued. She is the social work backbone of the Downe maternity unit.”

“Cate has been an impeccable ambassador for young/inexperienced social work entrants and has always been supportive and able to impart her knowledge and experience,” she added.

Cate’s legacy of compassion, professionalism and unwavering commitment will continue to inspire generations to come.