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‘Inspiring’ 96-year-old war veteran opens Westfield Health’s new building

Frank Yates - Cllr Anne Murphy Lord Mayor, Frank Yates, Westfield Health Chief Executive Jill Davies

An ‘inspiring’ 96-year-old war veteran has officially opened Westfield Health’s new building as the health and wellbeing firm’s longest-standing policyholder.

Sheffield-born war veteran Frank Yates spoke as the guest of honour at the new Westfield House before revealing a plaque to mark the official opening of the Charter Row offices in Sheffield city centre.

A Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, Frank was recently honoured for his role in liberating France from the Nazis with the country’s highest military accolade, the Legion d’Honneur.

At the official opening Frank shared memories from throughout his life – from his time as a Boy Scout in Crookes, through to his seven years as an anti-aircraft gunner during World War 2 where he was one of many to land on the beaches of Normandy.

After the war, Frank became a teacher at Shiregreen Secondary Modern School and went on to become head of science at Tapton School in Crosspool.

Frank first joined what was then known as the Westfield Contributory Health Scheme in 1949 and has been a customer ever since. He said: “Over the years I have talked to many people about Westfield Health and in all this time I’ve never, ever heard anyone complain.

“When I joined we paid 6 pence each week, and although of course the fees have gone up since then, so have the benefits. Westfield Health has helped me on so many occasions, I always get back what I’ve put in.

“As well as everyday healthcare such as chiropody appointments, I stayed for nearly a fortnight in hospital when I fell off a ladder and broke my heel and Westfield paid for every night as well as recuperation costs.

“The beauty of Westfield Health is that, because the payments can come straight out of your wages, what you don’t see you don’t miss. In the case of businesses, just a small contribution can lead to so many benefits for employees – helping to keep them healthy and content.

“I would always recommend Westfield Health - since 1949 they have looked after my health and wellbeing and paid back my claims without any arguments.”

Chief Executive at Westfield Health, Jill Davies, said: “It has been a proud day for all of us at Westfield and entirely fitting that Frank Yates, one of our longest serving and oldest policyholders unveiled a plaque to officially open our new home.

“Frank is representative of those thousands of local people who, by their loyal support of Westfield, have motivated us to continually improve our service.

“Frank, like Westfield, worked during the Second World War as an army officer when we were proud to maintain our service in spite of the Sheffield Blitz.

“He has recorded his illustrious war accounts in a book which I would recommend you read.

“Our new home is intended to demonstrate a commitment to the future whilst retaining our traditional values and offering health and wellbeing solutions that meet both the needs of individuals and organisations alike in Sheffield and beyond.”

Following the speeches, guests were offered tours of the new eight-storey Westfield House, including its roof terrace with 360-degree views overlooking the city, and the business enterprise hub spaces created to support the growth of health and wellbeing start-ups.


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