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1-59 Merchant Avenue, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 2GG
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Next generation paves the way for the older generation to live happier and healthier lives at The Curlews

The McCarthy Stone team on-site at the Curlews

Helping to pave the way for the older generation to live independently for longer has given one apprentice a real sense of purpose. 20-year-old Ellie Chissell is playing an important role in bringing a new Retirement Living Plus development in Exmouth to life, as she gets hands on experience while she studies at Bournemouth and Poole College.

Ellie joined McCarthy Stone, the developer behind the exciting new scheme in Exmouth, in September 2021. The new addition to Salterton Road will consist of 59 one and two-bedroom low-maintenance apartments along with state-of-the-art facilities to create a unique brand of retirement living in the local area with independence and community at its heart.

Ellie’s decision to pursue an apprenticeship with the UK’s leading manager and developer of retirement communities derives from a long-held passion for building and construction.

“Since my final year at school, I’ve known I wanted to go into construction. Initially, I wanted to pursue a career in quantity surveying, however, I changed my mind when I started my apprenticeship with McCarthy Stone, swapping to project management, as I felt this was better suited to me. I’ve never looked back since!"

As a woman working in the construction industry, Ellie takes her responsibility as a role model to other young women seriously, and is keen to highlight, wherever possible, the breadth of opportunities available to them.

“It feels fantastic to be a woman in construction,” she says. “There are more and more women who are taking an interest in the industry, which is great to see, as it’s a brilliant career to get into – anyone can do it.”

Ellie says having the chance to work on new McCarthy Stone developments, such as the forthcoming Exmouth site, has been a real career highlight.

“I have met so many new people, which has been extremely helpful in beginning my new career. They’ve provided me with a lot of support, and I’ve been involved in a variety of work that has enriched my understanding of the construction process, as well as the management side of it.

“The most rewarding part is being able to play my part in helping McCarthy Stone create a positive impact within the community. We are currently experiencing a housing crisis in the UK, where there are not enough suitable homes to support our ageing population, and this is leading to many older people not being able to access the support and the care they need. Developments like these can not only give them a greater sense of independence but can also reduce loneliness and provide both homeowners and their families with peace of mind that everything is taken care of, and help is nearby should they ever need it.

“The Exmouth development is such a lovely site; there’s plenty of space and the views are absolutely incredible. The communal lounge in particular is shaping up really nicely and will be the perfect setting for those looking to make the most of their retirement and for people to come together and get to know their new neighbours,” says Ellie.

“Lewis Roche, the Site Manager has been so encouraging and has done an amazing job on Exmouth so far. Everything has been so thoughtfully designed to give those aged 70 and over all they could need for a fulfilling and independent lifestyle, and I can’t wait to see the finished development.”

With just one month of her apprenticeship remaining, Ellie has got her sights set on managing her own projects and will be looking to push herself even further by taking on a Level 4 Associate Project Management course.