The perfect place to try new activities

With activities arranged throughout the year, how much you want to get involved is up to you, says Tim Adler

Just imagine unrolling your yoga mat on a beautiful sandy beach. McCarthy Stone homeowners at Thwaytes Court, Herne Bay, do just that, taking advantage of the two miles of beach on their doorstep.

Yoga is just one of the activities McCarthy Stone offers to its homeowners around Britain. Pilates, tai-chi and even tribal dancing are also available at other developments.

It’s the range of activities on offer, as well as the opportunity to socialise and share new experiences, which is one of the additional benefits of moving into a McCarthy Stone development.

Meanwhile, table tennis is all the rage at Queen Elizabeth Court in Carnforth, Cumbria, encouraged by one enthusiast who has brought his love for the game into the development and encouraged others to take part.

Table tennis is popular at other developments as well. “It’s a wonderful game for physical and mental agility,” says Mark Riddington, managing director, McCarthy & Stone Management Services (MSMS) and also of McCarthy Stone, Your Life Management Service (YLMS).

If that all sounds far too active, painting lessons, flower arranging and a stamp club are just some of the many group activities on offer.

Then there are timely events tied to the calendar such as Wimbledon Day, Ascot Day and Red Nose Day. And of course there can be film nights in the homeowners’ lounge, with wine and cheese while you watch. The important thing is that it is homeowners themselves who decide what they want to happen. Mr Riddington says: “We facilitate what our homeowners wish to do. We might suggest an activity and then we’ll get it organised for them. The sky’s the limit in terms of what goes on. None of us should be limited in what we do by age.”

Lease of Life

One of the most heartwarming aspects of community living is seeing how people emerge from their shell.

“As a nation, the British are quite reserved,” says Mr Riddington. “Yet we all recognise the importance of being social. Once they start participating, we see homeowners take on a new lease of life.” Staff have noticed how the more confident homeowners can help nurture those whose confidence may have taken a knock.

Mr Riddington compares it to watching a flower open its petals. Former school friends, meanwhile, who find themselves living in the same development, have managed to rekindle childhood friendships, while widowed people have remarried having met through onsite social activities.

And that range of activities is set to increase. MSMS plans to double in size over the next three years. Mr Riddington says: “That gives us the chance to offer an even more wonderful array of activities.”

And if your idea of recreation is just having a good natter, McCarthy Stone can help there too – you never know who you’re going to bump into in the communal lounge.

Homeowners include former sportsmen, journalists and even a former member of the SAS, so you’re sure to have an interesting conversation wherever you are.