In celebration of #IWD22, we are sharing some of the stories of the incredible women who we have the pleasure of supporting to continue to live their best lives through honouring their careers, hobbies, passions and interests.

Mary Gallagher moved in to Orchard House Care Home just over a year ago and recently celebrated her 101st birthday! An achievement in itself you might say, however Mary is use to achieving her dreams and breaking boundaries.

In honour of International Women’s Day, Lifestyle Lead Miranda Robertson sat down with Mary to talk about what had inspired her to become a Police Woman during the WWII.

It was during a conversation with a female Police Matron looking after female prisoners during WWII that inspired Mary, “We talked about her job and it seemed so interesting and different, she encouraged me to make the decision to become a Police Officer”.

Mary joined Coventry Police force in 1945 and although the training for men and women was the same, with female police officers having equal powers and similar duties as their male counterparts they weren’t issued with handcuffs or police batons.

What Mary loved about her job was the variety, “you never knew what was going to happen or who you were going to meet. I mostly loved helping people, which we actually did more of than looking in to crimes”.

Both Mary and Miranda took enjoyment from their discussion to mark International Women’s Day, “I’ve learned even more about Mary’s career and she shared with me so many stories, some very emotional to hear and think that she experienced all of that; she is indeed inspirational!”

Learning about their life histories, interests, skills and experiences to create and support a meaningful, engaging and person-centred lifestyle program. The dedicated team at the home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire are committed to enabling the residents to feel engagement and a purpose as part of life in Orchard House’s supportive community.

Mary is still inspiring women at the age of 101 years, continuing the sentiment of the female prison officer who inspired her over 75 years ago.