Charles Fleming kindness award winner Jason Kenna pictured with the colleagues who nominated him.
From left to right: Celthea Yu, Jason Kenna, Liz Close, Kerry Cowley and Heidi Andrews.
Jason Kenna cheerfully admits that his Irish background may have played a part in winning the Charles Fleming Retirement Village’s Kindness award.
“You might have noticed that I could talk the hind legs off a donkey, I’ve got a bit to say and I like talking to people. It is part of our culture, it is about respect. You’ve always got to have time to give someone a big smile and pass the time of day, and maybe have a laugh with them.’’
The head gardener was a popular winner at the village, with his colleagues praising his “awesome personality’’ and his willingness to turn his hand to any task.
“He’s so happy and talkative no matter what. He’s a joy to have around the village,’’ one wrote.
Jason’s formula is based on respect. He says respect was instilled in him by his parents and his extended family in Wicklow, which is just south of Dublin.
“Our culture is built on respect. Even your aunties, if they’re only a couple of years older than you, will give you what for if you don’t show respect.’’
“It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to, it could Simon Challies or someone in the laundry, I’ll treat them with the same respect. I’ll also have a laugh with them.’’
Jason was the third employee at Charles Fleming, arriving to join the manager and sales advisor on what was a building site two years ago and he’s loved seeing it grow.
He says it is hard to pinpoint exactly what makes people kind, but his approach is to be amiable and to make time for residents.
“It only takes a minute to smile and say hello and have a laugh. They’ve all got great stories to tell. You can catch up the time later.’’