Retirement developments offer community support for pensioners | Property | Life & Style


Wendy Osburn and Marilyn McGee have found friendship together in their new flats at Wadswick Green

AUDREY NOTSCHILD is planning a trip to the Arctic Circle to celebrate the arrival of three friends at her retirement development in Hertfordshire.

That’s because she was awarded £3,000 by McCarthy & Stone’s Refer A Friend scheme when they signed up to join her at George House in Stevenage.

The friends were all given £1,000, too, and now Audrey is spending her reward on a cruise and hoping to see the Northern Lights as she sails to Norway’s fjords.

Marilyn’s company has really helped me find my feet

Wendy Osburn

When the 74-year-old moved in she encouraged friends Christine Cole, 66, Michael Devenish, 75, and Eileen Newman, 85, to join her: “I was absolutely delighted when I found out they were buying apartments in George House too,” says the former NHS prescription clerk.

“I’ve known Tina for 20 years; we used to work together at the surgery. While having a gossip over coffee at her house I showed her the McCarthy and Stone brochure and instantly her eyes lit up!

“I have known Michael for over 40 years. He’s thoroughly embracing life here, swimming and going to the local gym every week. And I have known Eileen for three years. It’s brilliant she moved in too. Life here is magic.”

Eileen, who admits to being “a fairly sociable person” has also thrown herself into community life at George House, a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments with a courtyard garden, roof terrace and residents’ lounge.

“We have coffee mornings every week and film nights in the Club Lounge,” she says. “Some days we go for lunch in Stevenage old town. It’s full of everything you could possibly wish for: shops, pubs, restaurants. So we walk down together. This is a great place to be. You can be as sociable or as private as you wish.”

Making friends can be easier…

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