The talented Ms. Martin

10 October 2022

Sam Martin

Injecting sparkle into retirement village living is all in a day’s work for Tauranga’s Samantha Martin.

For the past eight years the dynamic 52-year-old has been making every day better for residents at Metlifecare’s Bayswater – and as a village renowned for its outstanding theatrical performances, she’s found her perfect fit.

“I’m super-passionate about theatre, and Bayswater has a full stage and an auditorium seating 250 people,” says the social and regional events coordinator.

The driving force behind the village’s highly anticipated productions, since joining Metlifecare, Sam has written and directed over 30 shows. Her most recent? “A Twist in the Tale’, performed at the village in September, with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer.

“Residents play a massive part in our shows - as well as our core group of incredibly talented actors, we have musicians, singers and an amazing 98-year-old pianist. Meanwhile others team up to take care of front of house, back of house, tea and coffee, and setting tables.

“Entertainment seems trivial, but it’s not. It can change people’s lives, especially if you’re involved in the performance. But even if you’re in the audience, it can take you places. Some of our residents aren’t mobile enough to leave the village, but they can come to a show and feel uplifted. That’s really neat and it’s fulfilling to play a part in that.”

Originally from England, Sam moved to the Bay 20 years ago, and has honed her skills in numerous different fields. The high-octane mother of four is a graphic designer, has owned her own restaurant and nightclub, set up a chain of jewellery shops, and was also president of 16th Ave Theatre’s youth division. Moving into the aged care sector was a great way to “combine my weird set of skills and do something really rewarding”.

“Village vibrancy is where I’m at – to create that culture and vibrancy is at the core of what I do.”

At Bayswater that means creating an exciting run sheet of events, from flamboyant fashion shows and inspiring guest speakers to the popular ‘dine and dance’ evenings. Working closely with Metlifecare’s other Bay of Plenty and Waikato retirement villages, Sam also initiates inter-village rivalry through sports competitions, art contests – and next year hopefully a Metlifecare’s Got Talent event.

“Our residents are very proud of their individual villages and they love a bit of friendly competition!”

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