A CARING grandmother is celebrating taking on her first job in over 40 years.

June Adams, who is 60, last worked when she left school at the age of 16, working in a supermarket and a restaurant for a year.

She has spent her life looking after her children, grandchildren and her husband when he was ill.

Now she is putting all that experience to good use by caring for residents at the Little Sisters Holy Rosary Residence Care Home in Greenock.

June, who lives in Port Glasgow, said: "I love working with older people and the residents with dementia.

"I enjoy the contact with people and I have built up a good relationship with residents."

June and her late partner of 34 years, George McCluskey, raised a large family and also brought up George's grandson.

When George, who ran the Kingston Boxing Club in Gibshill, became ill, June nursed him until he passed away from cancer in 2009.

June spent time helping in a charity shop as a volunteer after he died but was a teenager the last time she had paid employment.

Her return to work was sparked when she signed up for a seven week course through Inverclyde Community Development Trust which led to a SVQ in health and social care.

This included a six-month placement at the Little Sisters and management there were so impressed that they gave her a contract before her placement was up.

June said: "It's given me a new lease of life.

"I'd lost all my confidence and I also suffered from COPD so I had to lose weight and get myself fit."

She admits she was a bit daunted by going on a course but was thrilled by how it turned out.

June said: "I knew I would be the oldest one there but it was the best thing I've ever done."

Lorna Stein, training co-ordinator at the Trust, said: "June is an inspiration.

"The transformation has been phenomenal.

"She was quite insecure and had to be persuaded to do the initial course, then persuaded to do the SVQ, then the placement.

"Now she is working full time and is absolutely delighted by it.

"The caring skills were all there, we just brought out the personal development side of it."

June says life experience and common sense have helped her along the way.

She said: "I always treat people they way I would have would have like my mum and dad to have been treated."

Angie Mooney, HR assistant with the Little Sisters, says June has been terrific from the start and is getting more confident.

She told the Tele: "She is a good hard worker and we gave her a contract before she finished her placement.

"She is very flexible and if someone is ill, she will always volunteer to cover or work on.

"It's these kind of people with June's commitment we need."

June has also set herself new challenges like learning to drive and to swim.

She said: "I would recommend that other people go on the course, especially people who don't have a lot of confidence."

Kevin Millar, senior employment engagement worker with the Trust, now hopes to see other people follow in June's footsteps.

He said: "The care SVQ programme is funded by the council and managed by Inverclyde Community Development Trust.

"Inverclyde Council and The Trust wish June every success and welcome the opportunity to support people to achieve their employment ambitions and aspirations, while supporting local care sector employers.

"We have just launched the 2019 SVQ care programme and are looking to engage the Little Sisters of the Poor along with other residential care homes across Inverclyde."

Pictured from left are Sister Evelyn, June, and Sister Anna Maria. Photo: George Munro.