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Pannel Croft Village - Ann Piggott

Ann Piggott has only moved home twice since she was born 66 years ago: the first was when she left her parents' house and the second when she moved into Pannel Croft Retirement Village.

Just a few months ago she left the house that was home for many years. She bought a new sofa, new bed and new furniture. It's a good feeling, she says, to be starting again. "I really enjoy it."

Ann has special memories of the area as a child, visiting her grandmother in one of the back to back houses where there was a yard in the middle, outside toilets and a shared brew house for the washing.

Ann grew up in a three bedroom house near the Villa ground and there was so little crime the door was never locked, her mum would leave money on the table for the coalman and the milkman.

She brought up two of her three children in this house and lived with her parents until her eldest daughter was 16. Then she moved to a three storey council home, within walking distance of where is now in Pannel Croft in Newtown, Birmingham. Ann never planned to stay there for long but when her mum moved into a bungalow nearby and needed care she decided to stay and look after her. She was there for more than three decades.

"Then one day I sat there and thought, 'What can I do now?'" she recalls. Her children had left home, her mother had died and she had given her job as a dinner lady. "The stairs were starting to get me down," she says.

Ann had heard about Pannel Croft but making the decision to move wasn't easy. "I'd been there that long and you get to know all the neighbours," she said. "We had all nationalities around us. They used to pop in for tea."

Her daughters reassured her she would make new friends. "The girls said, 'You will be a lot safer,'" she says.

Packing took a month- her daughters came two nights every week to help. "It was hard, you don't realise how much stuff you have," she says.  "I kept two big boxes of family photographs." Some of her possessions went to charity shops, and she gave away furniture she'd had for over 30 years. Ann's mother had left her some money, telling her to use it wisely; she used it to buy new furniture.

Ann moved into her rented two bedroom apartment in Pannel Croft in November 2012. She still sees the same people when she goes shopping in Newtown and still goes to the same doctor's practice that she has been going to since she was born. But she now has a whole new group of friends at Pannel Croft. She meets them for coffee in the morning; she has joined the library, enjoyed the fish and chip supper and the Christmas party and has already had a trip to town with one of her new friends. In the summer she is looking forward to catching the 51 bus with her and going to Walsall.

"I am really pleased," she says. "Sometimes I sit here and think it's like being 16 again, starting your life."