Sheila Howell (83) and Frank Hood (77) will be moving in together for the first time when they move to Hagley Road Village.
The couple have known each other for over thirty years. Sheila says: “Frank was good friends with my late husband. After my husband died and when Frank’s wife was ill and died, I helped him. Our families used to tell us we should get together because we were each paying separate bills and we could save money that way!”
The couple live in the same block of flats, about 400 yards from the Village in Edgbaston, Birmingham, and fell in love with it as it was being built. They soon decided to move in together and live there. Sheila says: “It’ll be nice to live together. We did everything together anyway, and now we spend even more time together going to meetings about the Village, and it’ll be nice to be together in the evenings as well.”
Sheila has lived in her current flat for 36 years, and Frank moved to the same building four years later. They have both now sold their properties and are busy packing and arranging carpets and fitted furniture. Although it’s the first move in a long time for them, they think it’s the right decision: they’re thinking about the future and appreciate the fact that care will be available if they need it later on. Sheila says: “It’ll be nice to know that we’re somewhere where we can call on someone.”
They’re both also looking forward to the social opportunities in the Village: they attend monthly Friends meetings and Sheila volunteers, helping serve drinks to future Village residents. She says they’re already very busy: “Frank is the chairman of the National Service Veteran’s Association and I take the minutes so we already do a lot, and we’re looking forward to being even busier when we move in.
“All the people we’ve met who are moving in seem to be very nice people – I think it’ll be a very nice Village!”
Sheila explains that she never thought she would leave her flat. “I never thought that I’d move, I’d been there so long. But as we’ve seen the Village grow over the last three years, we really started to get excited and we fell in love with it.
“They offered us the apartment we wanted the most, in the winter garden. The day we were allowed to go and have a look around the apartment was absolutely wonderful.
“We can’t wait to move in!”
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