For many retirees, the decision to sell the family home and be the first person to move into a brand new retirement development 50 miles away, would be a daunting prospect. But for one former Land Girl, it was a decision which has given her a whole new lease of life.
Betty Newton owns a one bedroom apartment at Churchill Retirement Living’s Saffron Lodge development, in Saffron Walden, which she purchased in May last year after deciding the time had come to downsize.
She comments: “After more than 60 years of marriage and family life, I found myself living alone in a three bedroom house in Dagenham. The upkeep and maintenance was getting more expensive and challenging each year, so I knew it was probably time to make a change.
During the war years, Betty spent three years in Northamptonshire when she was in the Land Army. She briefly thought of returning there but then she saw an advertisement for a new Churchill Retirement Living development in Saffron Walden.
“My daughter and her family live in Newport, a village just a few miles outside of Saffron Walden. I visited the site with my family and thought the location was perfect, a short walk to the beautiful market town centre and everything I needed on my doorstep.
I contacted Churchill for more information and was invited to the pre-launch information day at the local golf club. I was very impressed with what I saw and one week later I reserved a one bedroom apartment. “I was the first owner to move into Saffron Lodge, shortly afterwards other owners started to move in and we would meet daily in the beautiful owners lounge for coffee. The atmosphere here is warm and welcoming and we have a wonderful community here at Saffron Lodge.”
Moving is always an anxious time, and emotional too, but with a range of moving options on offer Churchill Retirement Living is able to help purchases in a number of ways to make the move as smooth and stress free as possible. Betty made the most of Churchill Retirement Living’s Move for Free offer, which took all the worry away. Move for Free includes up to £5,000 towards estate agents’ fees, up to £1,500 towards legal fees, up to 1% stamp duty paid and an Energy Performance Certificate as well as support with removals and rightsizing.
“Moving to Saffron Lodge was the best thing I could ever have done, it has taken away all the worries of maintaining a three bedroom house. I have made lots of friends since moving into the Lodge, there is a wonderful community atmosphere, everybody looks out for each other and we regularly get together for coffee or social events that the Lodge manager organises.
“Since moving I’ve also had more time to spend on my hobby, quilling, which involves making decorative objects from thin strips of paper. I’ve even hosted a couple of demonstrations at the Lodge for people to have a go themselves which have been very popular.”
Taking the decision to downsize is a significant one, but Mrs Newton is just one example of someone who saw an opportunity, did her research, took firm control of her own future and was able to make her dreams of living in Saffron Walden come true.
“It was a huge step for me to take, to leave my family home with all its memories and downsize Churchill made the move as easy as possible, helping me as much as they could at every turn. I couldn’t be happier and it’s also given my daughter greater peace of mind to know there’s always someone around if I need anything.”