Residents transform into Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and the Spice Girls

8th December, 2015

Staff and residents living at Shenley Wood retirement village have dressed up as pop idols for a 2016 calendar, transforming themselves into stars such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, the Spice Girls and Abba.

Tricia Sweeney, 63, from The ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s Shenley Wood Village dressed up as a zombie for Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

During the photo shoot Beyoncé and Lady Gaga answered calls on reception while zombies danced to Thriller in the village piazza.

Lewis Illing, in his 80’s, was one of the first residents to move to the Village with his wife when it opened in 2012. He ‘joined’ rock group Queen for the photo shoot, commenting: “Just because you’ve been round the clock a couple of times it doesn’t mean you can’t get out the armchair with a bit of enthusiasm and dress up and have a bit of fun.

“It’s nice to think that residents had the opportunity to share a bit of pleasure with the Village and our families and friends.”

Activities facilitator Leigh West, 32, said: “We wanted this calendar to have a raw, edgy feel.  The buzz in the village was amazing; we had members of the band, Kiss, drinking tea and eating cake in the café and Michael Jackson serving customers in the village shop.

Leigh said: “I hope that the calendar promotes the idea that regardless of somebody’s age, there is always space for individuality, self expression and fun.”

Pictures were taken by Ian Cann of MRC Photo.

Last year residents dressed up to make a similar calendar paying homage to The Golden Age of Cinema.

ExtraCare’s Commissioning and Healthy Lifestyle Director, Angela Bradford, added:  “Across the Charity, residents and volunteers participate in hundreds of physical and social activities every week. Our recent research with Aston University shows that these opportunities, especially for those at risk of being isolated, offer people a new lease of life.  We applaud our residents’ imagination and drive.”    

The calendar went on sale yesterday (07/12) and costs £14.99. They will be available to purchase later this week from


The ExtraCare Charitable Trust: ExtraCare is a not-for-profit charity governed by a board of Trustees, was established in 1988 and operates 14 retirement villages and 17 smaller housing developments, providing 3,879 mixed tenure homes for over 4,400 older people across the Midlands and the North.

Information about Shenley Wood Village:  


Information about ExtraCare’s research with Aston University:    /research

For further information, please contact

Richard Tower, Communications Manager
Mobile: 0772 055 3658
T: 02476 506011

Lucy Clark, Communications Officer
Mobile: 0789 105 3062
T: 02476 507926