A host of well-wishers, including staff and patients from past and present, were on hand to give Matron Sue Adams a warm send off into retirement (Friday 21st January 2011).
After more than 30 years serving the local community at Uckfield Hospital, Sue is stepping down and will have more time for all the hobbies that have been on hold whilst she has been working.
During her time at the hospital Sue has seen things change out of all recognition, with the move in 1994 from the old hospital at the top of the High Street to the current modern building on Framfield Road.
"Arthur Hughes, a local farmer, was the man who helped make the dream of a new community hospital a reality.
Together with my colleague Heather Green, we cared for him at the old hospital, on the surgical ward, as he did not want to go anywhere else.
We nursed him for six weeks and when he was discharged he called in his GP, Dr Petit, and said he wanted to make a donation to the hospital.
The next thing we knew he was offering us the land to build on AND £1 million towards the construction costs, which enabled us to have a state of the art operating theatre and new equipment.
The League of Friends worked tirelessly to raise the remaining cash we needed and the result is the much loved local hospital people are using today."
"I am terribly sad to be leaving, but I am looking forward to new beginnings.
I shall remain on the committee of the League of Friends and will be sure to stay in touch with everyone, although I will have to remember I am not in charge anymore when I next walk through the hospital's front door!"
Bernard Trew, Chairman of the Uckfield Community Hospital League of Friends, said:
"We would all like to wish Sue well in her retirement and thank her for all her hard work over the years.
We are all very sad to see her go, but pleased that she will be staying on our committee
Sue has served the people of Uckfield tirelessly for over 30 years, with most people in the town at some time in their lives having come under her care or the care of the teams and departments that she has built up over the years.
This makes our hospital so special.
I am sure she will continue to take a keen interest in looking after the health of local people."
Sue was responsible for setting up many new services at Uckfield Hospital, including the development of a Minor Injuries Unit and high quality end of life care for local patients.
In May 2009, she received the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service from the Queen's Nursing Institute.
Uckfield Community Hospitals is run by East Sussex Community Health Services (ESCHS).
ESCHS Associate Director of Nursing, Alice Webster, said:
"We would like to add our thanks to Sue for more than three decades of caring for the people of Uckfield.
It will not be the same without her, but I am sure that the hospital staff will continue to build on all she has achieved during her time at the helm.
Happy retirement Sue!"