David Jeffrey retires from Northern Trust

Highly decorated Irish League manager David Jeffrey has called time on his career in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust after 28 years’ of service.
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The current Ballymena United boss, who spent the best part of 30 years at Linfield as both a player and then manager, retired this week from his senior social worker post at Larne integrated team.

David (59) started his social work journey within community youth, joining the Trust on March 31 1994 to work with adults 18-65 with physical and sensory impairments, moving to his senior social worker post in Larne in 1999.

David, who received the MBE in The Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honours for services to association football and community relations in Northern Ireland, said: “Last year I began thinking ‘what does the future hold?’

David Jeffrey. (Pic Northern Health and Social Care Trust).David Jeffrey. (Pic Northern Health and Social Care Trust).
David Jeffrey. (Pic Northern Health and Social Care Trust).

“I remember a very clear conversation with my mother. I said ‘mum, I’m thinking about retirement but I’m not sure’.

“She gave me a very straight bit of guidance. She said ‘David, God is not a God of confusion, and you will know when it is right for you to go.

“I always had 60 in my head, but then I did some thinking and I actually joined the Trust on April 1 1994 and I worked out in my head that if I went on March 31 2022 that would be 28 years done to the day.

“And with my birthday being October 28 I thought it was symmetrical. So that was the process. I just thought, I’ve got to step out in faith – it’s time for that bit to come to an end and see where I go from there.”

He added: “There are people who have no family – who are literally all alone – and I count it a privilege to be able to help, and to make even small changes in people’s lives.

“I have a real appreciation for the people I work with. I spend more time with them than anybody else, so it’s a strange feeling, but I know it is the right time to leave.

“For this next part of the journey I have made no plans, I have just stepped out.

“I have been blessed so much, so if I can give back and help others that is what I will continue to do.”

Praising Mr Jeffrey for his dedicated service, a spokesperson for the Northern Trust said: “David has been a compassionate and focused ambassador of social work delivering a high standard of leadership and service to the people of Larne and colleagues within the multidisciplinary family.

“A true legend has retired and will be sorely missed, but is wished a happy and healthy retirement with much love and blessings from his team.”