Best friends Sharon Kaye and Jayne Manderson, who are Rotherham born and bred, are now looking forward to spending more time with their families after they completed their last shifts.
The pair began their careers and struck up a long-running friendship in the 1970s as cadet nurses at the Rotherham School of Nursing when they were just 16 years old and said they had wonderful memories of the families and colleagues they have worked with over the years.
Sharon said that during her midwifery career, she had worked as a rotational midwife on the delivery suite on both the antenatal and postnatal wards, as well as in the special care baby unit.
“I’ve also spent ten years as a community midwife, before returning to the hospital setting in 2006 and working in the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) for the past 15 years,” she said. “Many of these years I have spent working with Jayne.”
Reflecting on her career as a midwife, Sharon said it had brought her many wonderful memories of the colleagues she had had the pleasure of working with, the friendships she had made and the families and babies she had cared for.
She added: “My husband Mick has been by my side supporting me throughout this journey and we have two wonderful children, Lucy and Josh, who were both born in Rotherham Hospital.
“My daughter also had both of our grandsons in Rotherham Hospital and was cared for by my lovely colleagues.
“Now I have retired, I plan to spend more time relaxing, seeing my family and hopefully in the not-too-distant future, getting to holiday in warmer climates.”
Jayne has spent her career as a midwife in both hospital and community settings, mostly alongside Sharon.
She added: “I have seen and embraced many changes over the past 36 years and have worked alongside so many hard-working, dedicated, caring and compassionate midwives.
“I feel grateful to reflect on my long career and achievements.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to be a midwife and the memories of the babies I have delivered, the families I have met and the many friendships I have made will stay with me forever.”
Jayne said her husband Baz – with whom she will celebrate a ruby wedding anniversary in August – had been a big support to her throughout her career.
Mum of two Jayne said: “Now I have retired, we plan to relax, travel, spend time with our daughters and start on the bucket list.
Verity Gough, matron for maternity on the Wharncliffe and Labour Wards at the hospital, said: “Jayne and Sharon will be missed in their respective departments partly due to the wealth of experience they have between them and because they have been fantastic friends and colleagues.
“They have been mentors to so many generations of midwives, imparting their wealth of knowledge, and they will both be really missed. We wish them the best of luck and a happy retirement.”