What it’s like to live in our retirement homes: Les’s story

Les’s father worked in print, in a Basildon-based company called Pembroke Cartons. Les was born in the area; in fact, his home in Southwood Court is the same distance away from the local parade of shops as the house in which he was born!

Les knew about the Printing Charity’s Southwood retirement development from his friends who are residents. When he had his leg amputated and was considering suitable housing options as a result, he decided to have a look at Southwood. He had a tour of the buildings with Home Manager Jeanette, and decided to apply.

About his home

Les has a bright, sunny apartment, the perfect size for him, with an accessible kitchen and wet room, all of which are easy to navigate around in his wheelchair. “The area is great”, he says. “It’s in a quiet location but only ten minutes from the town centre and five minutes away from shops and the local pub, The Jolly Friar.”

Les has always been a keen gardener. When he ran pubs and restaurants, he enjoyed making beautiful floral hanging baskets and troughs to brighten them up. Continuing his love of gardening, he has a little plot in Southwood’s gardens to grow veg, and this year is planning to cultivate tomatoes, carrots and onions.

An easy place to make friends

The community culture at Southwood is perfect for Les, while still enabling him to enjoy his own company. “I’m a private person, so it’s nice to be able to shut the door and have my own space, while still knowing that there are people around to help when necessary”, Les explains. “When I had problems with setting up some of the technology in my apartment, other residents who are more tech-savvy came and helped me out, which was fantastic.” He definitely still appreciates the opportunity to join in with organised activities, however. “The entertainment and the functions we have are always good” he says. “The Christmas party at Orsett Hall was very nice.”

Les would encourage anyone eligible for an apartment at Southwood to come and have a look around. He says: “The feeling of safety and security is one of the best parts. I’m really grateful to the staff here, who’ve been really good, considerate and caring towards me. If I’ve ever needed anything, they’ve been here for me.”

There are currently vacancies at Southwood Court and the charity’s other retirement development, Beaverbrook House in Bletchley near Milton Keynes. To arrange to look around or discuss your circumstances, please contact our welfare team on 01293 542820 or email support@theprintingcharity.org.uk 

Find more information about our retirement developments.

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