One of the Hospice’s most recognisable faces hung up her apron for the last time retiring on Wednesday.

Catering Manager Linda Traynor is one of the longest serving members of Hospice staff clocking in 24 years of service, having been involved with over 22,500 dinner services during her tenure.

Linda started as a kitchen assistant before taking on the role of Catering Manager six years ago and on top of keeping the kitchen ticking over, she has catered for the occasional wedding and anniversary at the Hospice, helping give patients and their families special memories to cherish.

Linda says: “I have loved my time here – it will feel very strange to leave. I have really enjoyed being involved with the patients and their relatives as we can get to know them quite well if they are here for a while. Knowing that they are enjoying their food is really important to our staff.

“If there are patients who haven’t eaten well before they come in and then they are able to enjoy their food again that is really heartening to hear from staff. One lady who was admitted had a special lemon tart recipe and we were able to make it to her recipe for her whilst she was in – it was a small gesture but meant so much to her.

“People really appreciate home cooking and it can take the pressure off families knowing they can get a decent meal whilst they are here visiting.”

Aside from her moments of connection with families and patients, and the close friendships she has made with staff at the Hospice, Linda says catering for the Royal Visits from HRH Princess Anne have been a particular highlight, with the Royal taking a liking for Linda’s famous shortbread.

She adds: “The shortbread has become legendary at the Hospice and is my family’s recipe - my sister made it at the Hospice when she worked here as an assistant cook and then passed it on to me. We always give Princess Anne some to take away with her and once we were told she was eating it in the helicopter before she had even taken off! But don’t fear I have passed the recipe on to staff for when I leave so the legacy will continue!

“Our team is really close knit and I have made friends for life. We have had such a laugh in the kitchen over the years it has been a great place to work and I will miss everyone when I leave.”

Marjory Mackay, Director of Nursing at Strathcarron Hospice says: “We would like to wish a huge thank you to Linda for her dedication and service at the Hospice and wish her well for her retirement. She has been such a vital part of the team over the years she will be greatly missed by staff and the families who visit.”

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