Seventy-one-year-old John Davey was amongst local guests at the opening of the new Wixams Retirement Village show homes in Bedford recently.
He was joined by partners from The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Bedford Borough Council, Harpur Trust and Homes England, as well as future residents.
The 230-home retirement village opens in 2019 and will have a range of facilities for community use including a bar and bistro, village hall, IT suite, hair and beauty salon, gym and shop. Facilities can be used by residents, their families and the local community as part of a ‘community hub’. Up to 50 activities will be on offer each week including IT classes, choir, gardening and wheelchair aerobics.
Around 1200 households have already registered their interest in the retirement village which will have 92 apartments for outright sale, 92 for shared ownership and 46 available to rent for tenants nominated by the Council or Harpur Trust. Each apartment will have its own hallway, living room, one or two bedrooms, kitchen and a shower room. Apartments will also have a balcony or a patio.
John moved to Bedford nine years ago to be closer to his grandchildren and has previously worked as a production engineer in the aerospace industry.
“I’ve been to the village meetings to learn more about ExtraCare and the village. My wife and I are really interested in the community life that Wixams will offer. We’re a bit isolated where we are at the minute, so we’re looking forward to the chance to have a close community around us” said John.
John, who currently lives nearby, is planning to move into a two bedroom shared ownership apartment. He has worked all over the world with his job, including America, Europe and Australia.
“At the minute it’s the chance to make new friends and meet different people that attracts us to Wixams Village, but it’s also good to know that in the future care is there if we need it,” said John. “Everything is there at the village, with a shop and different facilities. It’s reassuring to know that when we get a bit older and less mobile, there is care available on our doorstep.”
Approximately a third of residents within the village will receive help with care. Dependent on individual circumstances, the village can support residents with significant assessed care needs, including dementia.
ExtraCare’s unique holistic approach to health and well-being in later life was validated by Aston University in a recent three-year research project, which found that the charity’s residents experience a 46 per cent reduction in GP visits over the course of a year. The charity’s approach results in significant savings for NHS budgets – over 12 months, total NHS costs for ExtraCare residents can reduce by 38 per cent.
Mick Laverty, ExtraCare’s Chief Executive, said “We believe this will be an inspirational village with a wide range of facilities that are open to both residents, their families, visitors and volunteers from the wider neighbourhood. Our charity’s vision is to create better lives for older people by ensuring our residents can be at the heart of community life, enjoying an independent lifestyle, with care available for those who need it.”
Cllr Anthony Forth, Portfolio Holder for Adults Services, said “We are delighted that ExtraCare have chosen to build a retirement village in Wixams, giving local people choice when it comes to housing, and the opportunity to lead active, independent lives, with a wealth of facilities and access to care services on their doorstep.”
Lucy Bardner, Community Programmes Director at Harpur Trust, said “We are thrilled by the opening of the new show homes, and can’t wait for the Wixams Retirement Village to open to residents in 2019. We are proud to be working with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust on this development which will enable us to build on our 200 year plus history of Almshouse provision in Bedford and offer residents top class accommodation which is fit for the 21st Century and beyond”.
The show apartments are open to visit between 10am and 4pm, no appointment necessary.
Local older people and their families wishing to view the apartments can phone 0300 303 2333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO CAPTION: Mick Laverty, Chief Executive of the ExtraCare Charitable Trust; Shirley Davey; John Davey; and David Russell, Chief Executive of The Harpur Trust.
For further information: Richard Tower: M: 0772 055 3658. email@example.com