On Door Closes, Another Door OpensFrom travelling around the world as cabin crew for British Airways, to founding children’s charity, Dreamflight, it’s fair to say that Patricia Pearce MBE has always lived her life to the full, and her retirement years are no exception. 

One Door Closes Another Door Opens
Following a successful 39 year career with British Airways and over 30 years running Dreamflight, which takes 192 seriously ill and disabled children to Disney World each year, Miss Pearce wanted to begin a new chapter of her retirement.

After accompanying a friend to a viewing of a McCarthy Stone apartment a couple of years ago, Patricia began considering making a change to her own living arrangements, as she explains:

“All of my family live over in Australia and whilst I lived in a delightful old bake house which I loved, I didn’t see people as much as I would have liked. I enjoy keeping busy and socialising, so when I saw the signs go up for McCarthy Stone’s Chiltern Place Retirement Living Plus development just eight miles away in Amersham, I went to the open day and the rest as they say, is history!

“I’ve had a wonderful career and am incredibly proud to still be a part of the Dreamflight family, and of what the children themselves have achieved - they have 37 Paralympic medals between them - but moving to Chiltern Place has enabled me to become part of a new community and continue to enjoy spending my time on all my favourite things. I love the fact that there are other people around and that there’s always something going on – I even get to put my organisation skills to the test and help to plan events and get-togethers for the residents.

“I’ve cruised all around the world on the Queen Elizabeth and earlier this year, we decided to hold a virtual cruise in the development. My neighbour Jean and I were on the check-in desk, our friends then had to come into the lounge, with their passport and a ‘ticket’. We had great fun! We went to New York and had a month of America, the lounge was decorated with flags, we had film night and the bistro was themed as a diner! It’s a very good bunch here.

“We’ve even managed to keep the community feel during lockdown. We’ve been holding virtual quizzes and parties, and even managed a safely distanced VE day celebration outside. I also started up a happy hour email that I send out at 6pm every night, including pictures of where I’ve walked. It is keeping us together and it amazes me that residents in their 90’s are joining in the conversation.”

The McCarthy Stone team at Chiltern Place worked closely with Miss Pearce to ensure her move was as smooth as possible. 

Miss Pearce continues: “At first, I didn’t think I would be able to afford it, but the Chiltern Place team were great at sorting things out for me and I can’t thank the team and staff enough.

“I loved my old home, which had a cottage feel, but I also love the modern design of my new apartment. I had a Jacuzzi bath in my old home and I thought I was going to miss it, but I actually don’t as my new wet room is ideal. The whole apartment has been well thought out, the kitchen is lovely and the appliances are great. I’ve even got two store rooms.

“As soon as I moved, it was like shutting the door on one chapter of my life and opening another new and exciting one. I also feel incredibly secure. I came back about half past midnight one night and as I entered the main entrance and the doors shut behind me and I remember thinking how secure I feel walking up to my apartment. It’s nice to know that there is someone on duty 24/7 so that if you weren’t well in the night, you’ve always got someone you can ring.

“I would say to anyone thinking of moving into a McCarthy Stone development, don’t think twice. Go ahead and do it! I’m the youngest one here so I would say to people, don’t leave it too late. Do it while you are able to enjoy your new lifestyle to the full.”
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