Manager of Cromer care home for veterans made MBE in honours list

Norfolk Care Awards 2015, Sally Mills from Halsey House.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norfolk Care Awards 2015, Sally Mills from Halsey House.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The manager of a north Norfolk care home for ex-service men and women has been made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Sally Mills, manager of The Royal British Legion (RBL) Halsey House, in Cromer, received the honour for services to ex-service personnel, in recognition of her 31 years working for the charity.

Ms Mills, 58, said: 'I feel very proud to be working here and very proud to have received this.

'It really is a career highlight. When I first received it I thought, do I deserve it?

'I don't feel I've done anything ultra extraordinary.'

Ms Mills grew up on a council house estate in Paston, north Norfolk.

She began working as a nurse at Halsey House in 1986, and worked her way up over the years to become home manager.

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She said: 'I worked my way up.

'The Legion supported me to become a registered nurse and I never looked back.

'It's amazing, for the home and for me, after 31 years of working for the Legion. It's a great award for nursing in general.

'Looking after veterans is something really special and I feel very honoured.'

She admitted the news came as a surprise to her.

'When I received the letter about five weeks ago I thought I had been summoned for jury service, which I was quite excited about, so when I opened it I was in absolute shock,' she said.

Ms Mills added that she would not be celebrating at the home.

She said: 'I am not one to be in the limelight.

'They [the staff] put a big notice up congratulating me and all the staff gave me lovely cards.

'That's enough for me.'

She added: 'We'll celebrate in London and go out for a nice lunch.'

Ms Mills will attend an investiture ceremony at one of the royal residences within the next two months, accompanied by her partner, son, and daughter.

Halsey House is one of the RBL's six care homes, which are all exclusively for ex-service people and their dependants.

It offers residential and nursing care to up to 89 residents in.

The Cromer home also has a specialist dementia wing, Danbury Lodge, which won an award for excellence in delivering dementia care at the Norfolk Care Awards in 2016.

Halsey House was rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March 2017.