High Wycombe great grandmother Yvonne Jack helped to bury a time capsule on the site of the 260-home Hughenden Gardens Retirement Village.
Yvonne is among 823 older people who have expressed an interest in the village, which is being built by a registered charity, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council, Wycombe District Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.
Yvonne has lived in her three bedroomed semi-detached house for more than 40 years. She was hoping to move to the village with her husband Neville. The couple were married for more than 50 years but sadly Neville died in June 2016, aged 77.
Yvonne is now hoping to move into a one bedroomed apartment at the village on her own if her application is accepted when the sales process opens next summer.
“I will be really sad that Neville is not going with me but it is definitely the right time,” she said. She is looking forward to making new friends at Hughenden Gardens Village and taking part in activities. “I chat to everybody, ” she said.
Yvonne, 69, believes that moving to the village would feel like an adventure. “Neville would have wished me to move, it’s what he would have wanted for me,” she said. “I think we would have closed the door behind us, both equally happy that we were going to the village.
“It’s starting again really. I will take all my memories with me.”
The ceremony celebrated construction work at the village which is due to open in 2018.
Local primary schoolchildren from Disraeli School and The Downley School who won an ExtraCare painting competition “High Wycombe One Hundred Years from Now” were also amongst those attended the time capsule ceremony. They were awarded certificates by Mayor of High Wycombe, Councillor Zia Ahmed.
Speaking at the event, Councillor Mahboob Hussain, Chairman of Wycombe District Council said: “The retirement village is a key part of regeneration in High Wycombe and will bring fruitful results.”
Hughenden Gardens Village is being built on a five acre site on Hughenden Road, just to the north of High Wycombe 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.
Also speaking, Councillor Mike Appleyard, Deputy Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council said: “By encouraging people into more social housing we reduce isolation. We would like to see an increase in homes like this.”
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 include a village hall, bar and bistro, gym, IT suite, hair and beauty salon and a shop, which can be used by residents, their families and the local community.
Mick Laverty, Chief Executive of ExtraCare, said on the day: “The success of this Village will in no small measure be as a result of supportive partners and a supportive community here in High Wycombe. We are therefore very grateful to the many community groups and local businesses and organisations, who have already contributed their knowledge, advice and support. There are over 30 of them, too many to thank right now but we are grateful for the welcome they have given us.”
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 research project found that ExtraCare residents experienced a significant reduction in the length of unplanned hospital stays and routine GP appointments fell by 46 per cent after a year.
Thousands of older people have already benefitted from living in an ExtraCare village and this year the charity won three national awards linked to its village developments, well-being and care programmes and its innovative approach to providing older people’s services.
Up to 120 people a month are already attending meetings to find out more about the Village before applications open next summer. Older people wishing to join the meetings or register their interest in the village can contact 0870 777 4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Schoolchildren from The Downley and Disraeli Schools With Mayor of High Wycombe Cllr Zia Ahmed and Yvonne Jack. L-R Jacob Graham, Isabelle Ashcroft, Lily Phiminster, Gabrielle Pope, Cllr Zia Ahmed, Chloe Taylor, Isabella Collins, Yvonne Jack, Sophie Fletcher-Dallas, Chloe Fletcher-Dallas
Prospective Residents View the Hughenden Village Model
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- Notes for Editors -
The ExtraCare Charitable Trust (www.extracare.org.uk) enables older people to enjoy a healthier, happier and more independent future by integrating their homes, care and lifestyle.
ExtraCare is a registered charity based in Coventry. It operates 4,020 homes within 14 retirement villages and 17 smaller housing schemes. Each village or scheme has 5 to 18 social, health and leisure facilities that are accessible to more than 4,400 residents, 3,000 volunteers and local people representing all age groups living in surrounding communities. Around 60 Charity Shops help fund care and well-being services for older people living in its villages and schemes.
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