GMB condemn FirstPort for sacking Supported Living Manager for trying to save Christmas

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"FirstPort are worse than Scrooge.  At least Scrooge didn’t sack Bob Cratchit for organising a Christmas dinner", say GMB

GMB, the union for workers in the care sector, condemn the supported living provider FirstPort, for sacking and evicting a supported living manager for arranging a lawful Christmas lunch for residents. 

Wiltshire Police have confirmed that the socially distanced event for lonely and isolated residents at a supported living facility in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, was lawful and within the guidelines effective in the area at the time. 

The residents share communal facilities such as a laundry and lounge in the buildings and have signed a letter confirming that they consider themselves to be in the same bubble. 

Pam Sherry, the manager at the supported living facility has been dismissed and given notice to quit her flat by FirstPort, because even though the event was lawful, she had not asked her manager’s permission to use the lounge for the event. 

Andy Newman, GMB branch secretary for Wiltshire explains: “FirstPort have acted brutally in sacking this manager. It is totally disproportionate as all she did was bring a bit of Christmas cheer to the residents, now she and her husband face homelessness during a dangerous pandemic.  

“Our member, Pam Sherry cares deeply about the residents, and she is very concerned that due to isolation over the last year, many of the elderly residents have showed a marked physical and mental deterioration. 

"FirstPort are worse than Scrooge.  At least Scrooge didn’t sack Bob Cratchit for organising a Christmas dinner,

“Pam and her husband who both live in a flat in the facility, offered a Christmas meal to these vulnerable elderly people, and gave them a choice of whether to have this delivered to their flats, or to eat it together. Seven of them chose to eat their lunch socially distanced in the lounge, a room they have a right to use, and for which they pay.  

"The Police visited on the day, checked the arrangements, which they declared to be lawful, and even congratulated Pam for her kind initiative. A communication to that effect was sent to FirstPort. 

“Shamefully, a FirstPort manager described the residents as “manipulative” for reaching out to each other to overcome their loneliness by forming a wider bubble, and FirstPort seem to view the residents as children who they can police."


Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at


Notes to Editors:

[1] Pamela Sherry has worked for FirstPort for 3 years, with 2 years at regal Court. She is available for interview. 

[2] Regal Court, Trowbridge is a retirement community offering supported living. Residents buy their leasehold flats, which include the right to use communal facilities, such as the laundry and lounge. 

GMB can help to arrange interviews with residents. Residents have written letters of support for Pamela, which are available on request.

[3] Photographs are also available on request from