Great Grandmother Opens Show Homes at Hughenden Gardens Retirement Village
Picture Captions: L-R Karen Satterford, Chief Executive of Wycombe District Council, Prospective Resident Pam Walker, Cllr Mark Shaw and Cllr Suzanne Brown inside one of the Hughenden Gardens Village show homes
Great grandmother Pam Walker believes moving to Hughenden Gardens Retirement Village in High Wycombe would make her feel ten years younger.
Pam, aged 77, was amongst the guests at the opening of the show homes at the village. The village, which will have 260 self-contained homes, is due to open in 2018. It is being built by a registered charity, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council and Wycombe District Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. Pam is hoping to move into a two bedroom apartment along with her 86 year old husband Bryan.
Bryan suffers from kidney failure and heart disease. The former landscape gardener can no longer look after the garden at their three bedroom semi-detached home. He needs a stair lift to go upstairs. And as Bryan’s health failed, Pam’s life changed too. ‘My life gradually became harder and harder,’ she says. Bryan and Pam, who live in Totteridge, last went out socially in the summer of 2015.
‘The village would be a godsend to me,’ she says. ‘I would be able to socialise and still be able to go back to the apartment to make sure Bryan was ok.’
Bryan will continue to have care if he moves to the village. Pam is also hoping that he can enjoy coming out of the apartment, in a wheelchair or with the help of a walker, to chat and socialise with other residents. ‘I think it could improve his life,’ she says. ‘I feel that the village would be wonderful for me.’ Around 1,300 households have already registered their interest in the £45m retirement village which is being built on a five acre site on Hughenden Road, just to the north of the town centre.
There will be apartments available for purchase, shared ownership and rental, and care will be available on site for residents who need support to live independently. Rental apartments in the village will be affordable for people receiving full benefits support reflecting the charity’s commitment to support local older people with limited means. Each home has its own front door, hallway, living room, one or two bedrooms, kitchen and shower room. The majority of homes will have their own balcony. The village is set to become a vibrant community where older people, volunteers, friends and families can enjoy a range of social and leisure events every week.
Facilities will be open to residents and local older people, residents’ families and volunteers. They will include a reception and main street, shop, library and IT suite, café bar and bistro, hairdressing and beauty salon, fitness suite and craft room.
See a short internal fly through of the village at https://youtu.be/6O-0k-xWHs8
ExtraCare’s award winning well-being service will also help residents to look after their health. Residents are offered well-being assessments, drop in sessions and information groups. A recent study with Aston University found that residents living in ExtraCare’s villages reduced their dependence on GP and hospital services and this work was recognised in April 2017 when the charity won the UK Housing Awards’ Outstanding Development Programme of the Year.
Councillor Suzanne Brown, Chairman of Wycombe District Council, said: “It’s an amazing place. It’s going to be so inclusive – it won’t just be a lovely place to live but other people will also be encouraged to come and use the gym and be part of the community. It’s going to be such a positive thing.”
Village show homes are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, or phone 0300 303 2333 to find out more.
Mick Laverty, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said: “Up to 120 people a month are already attending meetings to find out more about the village. This interest reflects our charity’s commitment towards a new style of retirement living where older people can enjoy a sociable lifestyle living in a range of affordable and reasonably priced homes with care available for those who need support to retain their independence.”
Councillor Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “It’s fantastic. People can move from their lifelong homes but still stay in their community, at the heart of this town. I hope the people who move in will have very long, happy, healthy futures in this village.”
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