Dame Esther Rantzen DBE officially opens Churchill development in Haywards Heath

Everyone who attended the Official Opening of Petlands Lodge in Haywards Heath not only had the chance to share in the celebrations as the development was officially unveiled, but also had a unique opportunity to meet one of Britain’s favourite TV personalities, Dame Esther Rantzen DBE. 

Petlands Lodge on Church Road, comprises 43 one and two bedroom private, self-contained apartments specially designed for retired Owners, many of whom were able to meet and chat with Dame Esther and share her experiences and tips for a happy and healthy later life.

Churchill Ambassador Dame Esther, has worked tirelessly to champion the needs of the elderly. In 2012 she founded The Silver Line with the aim of combating loneliness in isolated older people and has worked closely with Churchill Retirement Living to set up The Churchill Awards, the annual celebration of the achievements of the over 65s.

“Growing older is something to be celebrated,” she declares.  “Older people have so much to offer. People of retirement age who are lucky enough to be able to stay as active and as involved as possible; and can spend time doing volunteering work, trying new hobbies or socialising with friends and family find it gives them a great sense of achievement and purpose.”

Her philosophy, which exactly reflects Churchill Retirement Living’s own, is that the retirement years should be anticipated in a positive way. Older people should be supported so that they can find out what’s on offer for them and enjoy life to the full. 

“As I get older it’s my ambition to have as much fun as I can.  If I were Prime Minister, I would make it a legal requirement that every older person must have fun at least once a day.  In fact, I think we should all make sure we laugh at least once a day!”

She continues: “I believe wholeheartedly in keeping your mind active as long as you can, by finding company that you enjoy, sharing time with people you like and doing things that you find engaging.  Working in a team also gives you companionship, so the Owners’ Lounges and the social events like the coffee mornings seem to be a great idea.  It has been heartening to meet the Owners of Petlands Lodge and hear so many positive stories from them.”

At Petlands Lodge, Owners have been keen to take advantage of the range of features designed to make later life easier; such as the Owners’ Lounge, Guest Suite and Lodge Manager, as well as security features such as a video-entry system and 24-hour emergency Careline.  All of the apartments have spacious rooms throughout and are an ideal combination of design and functionality. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which is located at an easy-reach height. All of the properties also benefit from illuminated light switches for added convenience.

The development is set in landscaped grounds in a central location.  The Orchards Shopping Centre which has several coffee shops and well known stores including Marks & Spencer and Tesco is a short walk from the Lodge.  Also close by are local churches, several banks, medical centre, dentist, several restaurants and Victoria Park. The development is just a short distance from public transport links.

With various historical attractions, gardens and places of interest, Haywards Heath is an ideal location to retire. The town has many unusual shops to explore, with the usual high street brands as well as independent boutiques. Beech Hurst Gardens are nearby, boasting a miniature railway, which is perfect for a visit with the grandchildren.

Clair Hall hosts comedy nights, cinema evenings and music events all year round, while the more active retiree may wish to visit the Dolphin Leisure Centre, offering swimming, short mat bowls and table tennis to name a few. 

The town is also well served by public transport, with trains and buses catering for a variety of journeys, enabling you to travel when you wish.  Ashdown Forest and the High Weald are nearby, and the neighbouring villages of Cuckfield, Lindfield, Staplefield and Slaugham are ideal if you enjoy a leisurely walk in the countryside. 

For more information, visit the new show complex open daily from 10am to 5pm, call 01444 688256 or click here.


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