Churchill Retirement Living has given a warm welcome to its first new owners at Burlington Lodge in Swanley, where a thriving community is starting to take shape. The first wave of over 60s have been enjoying an independent lifestyle since moving into the collection of retirement apartments, which are located within walking distance of the bustling town centre.
David and Julie Taylor were among the first people to move into the Lodge, and David can’t speak highly enough of his new lifestyle. He says: “We’re enjoying the comfort and security. There’s no more hassle, I don’t have any worries about maintaining my old house and looking after the garden. Swanley is very well connected with plenty of good shops and services, and we have everything we need on our doorstep. The train station is close by too, so it’s easy to get out and about if we want to go further.”
David adds: “I like a laugh with my new neighbours, life is too short not to! We all enjoy getting together in the comfort of the Owners’ Lounge, and our Lodge Manager Julie does a tremendous job, she’s always friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. Everything is going to plan and I love my new surroundings, I’m looking forward to the summer so we can sit outside in the sunshine.”
Retired teacher Monica Snow was another of the first to move in, commenting: “Like most of the other people here I have lived in the area for many years, but I was slightly further out from the town centre and my old house was becoming too much hassle for me to look after on my own. My new apartment is nice and comfortable and there are always people around, I’m enjoying making new friends and joining in with the activities. My daughter recently visited from Dallas, Texas, and she was very pleased to see how nice it is here and how well I’ve settled in.
“As well as weekly keep fit and yoga sessions here in the Owners’ Lounge I’m also a member of the local gym so I’m a very active 80-year-old! I’m also a member of the local active retirement group which is great for socialising and going on coach trips. I can get on a coach at Asda which is just across the road from here, and go as far as Sidmouth or even Edinburgh. A lot of my friends join me at the gym and come back here for a coffee afterwards, they seem to like it so perhaps one or two of them will be tempted to make a move here too in due course.
Kith and Cindy Whyman are also finding the benefits of being in the heart of town. Keith says: “We used to live in a lovely village not far from here. It was a beautiful place but being further out is not so good as you get older, and we didn’t want to be reliant on driving the car to get anywhere. Now we’re in the middle of town, close to shops and services, the hospital and everything we need, it’s all right on our doorstep. Our daughter is very pleased we’re here and so are we!”
For Rita Garvey it’s the company and peace of mind that makes the difference. She says: “There are always people around to chat to, so I still have my own private space when I want it, but I don’t feel like I’m living on my own anymore. It’s made my family very happy to know that I’m here, and that makes me happy too.”
Former RAF man John Ingleman is the Lodge’s resident quiz master, posing the questions for his fellow Owners once a week in the Owners’ Lounge, along with his wife Barbara. He says: “I try to mix things up at our quiz afternoons so that everyone has a chance of getting a few answers right, it brings us together for a bit of fun once a week and I enjoy coming up with the questions. I also host a weekly quiz at the local RAF Club where I’ve been a regular member for years. One of the biggest benefits for me about living here is that it’s all on the same level, so unlike my old house I don’t have any stairs to worry about. We have a nice ground floor apartment and it suits us perfectly.”
Burlington Lodge is a collection of 34 one and two bedroom apartments with fully integrated kitchens, landscaped gardens with patio and seating areas, and Lodge Manager Julie to provide a friendly face throughout the week. Owners also benefit from a 24-hour call centre support system, a Guest Suite for family and friends to visit and an Owners’ Lounge with a coffee bar.