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It has been two and a half years since we moved into Shenley Wood. We found our apartment here with the help of the council and I love it, it’s the best thing that happened to me. I love everything about this place.

Ghazal Butt

Shenley Wood

Meet Shenley Wood Village resident, Ghazal!

Shenley Wood Village resident Ghazal Butt talks about his childhood in Uganda, his love for his community, and his hobby of sea fishing.

I care for my wife Pauline now and she’s so much better than she was before coming here, we’re very happy here.

Pauline and I met in Milton Keynes and we’ve been married for 41 years. I’ll be 68 in June and Pauline is 86. We get visitors often here with my stepdaughter, granddaughter, and grandson, coming to see us.

I’m from Uganda originally, but when Idi Amin was in power, we were forced to leave. I worked for the family business over there from just seven years old. When we were forced out everyone was given just 24 hours to leave, they even took my mum’s jewellery off her! We arrived in the UK and settled in Kingston upon Thames, we had with us just one pair of trousers and a top each. I am the youngest of my siblings and over the years all six of us came together and worked to provide an amazing house for our mum.

My mum always instilled in us that if you want something in life you have to work for it. It’s something I have carried with me. I worked as a Dispatch Manager for John Lewis for 26 years before retiring seven months ago.

I’ve had some amazing adventures in my life. When I was a teenager, I drove to Afghanistan by car. My friends and I took three new Mercedes and we travelled in them across the middle east, it took us three months to complete. It was a great adventure!

I have a few hobbies but I’ve always been a keen lover of sea fishing. I used to go once a month. I’d like to try and organise something in the village so more people could try it. I used to fish for Mackerel and it brought me a lot of enjoyment. I have a hole in my heart, so I have to be careful not to do anything too strenuous, but here at the village I go for a walk every day, and I love the event nights at the village. I enjoy dancing and my wife and I never miss a village show.

I would recommend moving here, loneliness is a bad thing for older people. Here you can meet other people and take part in so many activities, it’s the best thing for you. I won’t have anyone give a bad name to this place. We’re like a family, and that’s how it should be. I would not have it any other way.

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