IT was an occupation she found scouring the jobs pages in The News.
Now, 26 years later, dedicated social worker Dorothy Bone has been commended for her years of service by winning a lifetime achievement award.
The 70-year-old, who lives in Fareham, has spent 26 years supporting the needs of vulnerable children and adults in her role as a social worker at Portsmouth City Council.
She was presented her accolade at the Social Worker of the Year awards at the Palace of Westminster in front of hundreds of peers.
Dorothy moved to Portsmouth from Plymouth with her family in February 1985.
She was unemployed until she found a job in the Portsmouth Evening News, as it was known then, and spent the remaining years working across the city.
Although she officially retired in March this year, Dorothy continues to work with children and families.
She said: ‘I applied for a job to be a social worker to help with a team of assessors. I quickly realised I loved it.
‘I have always enjoyed working with people and I like the personal interaction, especially with children.
‘I never had any pressure on me to retire and I felt the time was right.
‘I was very surprised to win. I had a phone call in June from my manager to say that he was nominating me and I felt so honoured.
‘We toured the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Palace of Westminster. It was lovely to be a part of the day.
‘The heart-stopping moment when they said I was the winner was tremendous – I haven’t stopped smiling since.
‘I would like to thank Portsmouth City Council. For me, they have been a tremendous employer.’
Not only has Dorothy put in years of service helping others, she has been a governor at Redlands Primary School in Fareham for 12 years.
James Rook, managing director of headline sponsor and awards organiser Sanctuary Social Care Group, said: ‘Dorothy is an excellent example of a social worker who has devoted her entire professional career to her local community. Her impact on local children and families shows how effective good social work can be and it is wonderful to see that so many of those families took the time to help support her entry for these awards.
‘She has been a true role model for social work and we are delighted to be giving her the recognition that she deserves.’