COMMUNITY VOICES

Lorraine Hearne, Former Winstanley Estate resident, moved to Assisted Living

21.09.2020

I had been living on the Winstanley and York Road estates since 1968. I was one of the first residents to move into Pennethorne House after it was built, and from there I moved to York Road, and finally to Arthur Newton House. My family have been living in the area for 200 years and my son works here so I could never move out of Battersea; my heart is in Battersea! 

When the Regeneration Team offered me an Early Move, I knew that I had to take the opportunity. I thought that if I stayed in Lavender Road much longer, there may become a point when my health wouldn’t allow me to move. The property was also too large for me to manage alone, and required a lot of decorating which I was unable to afford.

I was quite hesitant to consider Sheltered Accommodation at first, but it is the best decision I could have made and I wish I had done it sooner!  The lodge to where I have moved was the third home I visited, and I immediately knew that it was the one for me. The residents here are so pleasant, the warden is kind and helpful and the place has a homely feel and is based in lovely area. My flat is now all on one level, which is perfect for me as I struggle with stairs. The gardens are beautifully maintained and last month we hosted a BBQ and family fun day. We are also invited to garden parties hosted by other lodges. 

There is plenty going on if you want to participate, including day trips to the seaside and pub lunches, coffee mornings every Wednesday and evening activities including supper clubs twice a week. There is a communal kitchen with facilities and a computer that we can use at any time and tea parties are thrown for our birthdays. There’s a real community spirit here; I wouldn’t hesitate to pop over to my neighbour to borrow a cup of sugar! 

Just like my secure tenancy at Lavender Road, I can decorate my new home as I please; except they kindly decorated the flat for me before I moved in. There is a handyman here who will do jobs in our home for a small fee. The Warden knocks on my door once a week, but help is available at any time if you need it. Before I moved, I had a false impression of what sheltered accommodation was; I thought it would be regimental, but it has assisted me to live independently and not just exist like I was doing in my old place.

The support from the Regeneration Team and the Council’s Specialist Housing Occupational Therapist was second to none. They were so accommodating to my particular needs and organised adaptations, including a wet room and automated front door system, to be fitted before I moved in.  

I would recommend applying for Sheltered Accommodation through the Early Moves scheme to anyone. The Council found for me exactly the type of home I needed, in the area that I wanted. You don’t have to be elderly or disabled to move to Assisted Living; it is available to anyone over age 55. The Regeneration Scheme has given me a new lease of life and I will always be grateful.

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