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Pannel Croft Village - Mary McGuire

Mary McGuire jumped for joy when she heard she was moving into Pannel Croft.

Life has not been easy for the 56 year old, whose mother died when she was just three years old. Her father became deaf and blind around the same time and Mary was brought up in a children's home.

Mary had two children and for the last 25 years she has lived in the same house in Newtown. She was mugged when her son was a baby, her home was burgled and there were other attempted burglaries. Her house had locks on all the windows and a wrought iron gate on the front door.

Things had improved. "Eventually it did start to quieten down," she says. But when her son, the younger of her two children, went to university in September Mary knew she wanted to move. The three bedroom house was going to be too big to live in on her own.

"It was like a prison," she says. "I wanted somewhere better. I thought, 'I've got to get out of here. I don't need a big place like this.'"

Mary hadn't been eating properly, had lost weight and was taking anti-depressant tablets.

As she watched Pannel Croft Village in Newtown, Birmingham, being built she thought how nice it was. "I kept coming in and I got to know the staff, they were really helpful," she says. "I came to the meetings and there seemed to be so much to do."

Mary moved into her new two bedroom apartment in November 2012. She stopped taking the anti-depressant tablets just before she moved in.

Now she is happier, her health has improved and she feels fantastic. It's a new start.

"I feel a lot safer here," says Mary, who works as a school lunchtime supervisor and is also a volunteer at St Chad's Cathedral. "I don't feel like a prisoner any more. Everybody is so friendly. I know more people here than I have done for the last few years where I used to live. I look around sometimes and still can't believe it. It's lovely."

For further information, please contact:

Lucy Henson, PR officer
02476 507926