Social Life and Communities
Our residents enjoy the best of both worlds: the peace and privacy of their own luxury apartments, along with the option to join in with various social activities should they so choose. Michelle Leggett is House Manager at Carrick Court near Portsmouth. Here she talks about the ever-growing list of activities on her residents’ notice board, and the sense of community that has evolved in which she is delighted to play a part.
"The lounge really does seem to be the heart that beats at the centre of our development, and I know many other House Managers say the same. I liken ours to a village square – a place where the library and coffee shop are open all day every day; somewhere cosy to relax where there’s usually someone around whose company you enjoy."
Coffee mornings, yoga classes, film nights and even the odd fish and chip supper all add to the sense of community and general buzz of activity at a McCarthy & Stone development.
Good to know: 83% of our homeowners said they felt they were kept well informed about up-coming events and activities at their development.
No one ever feels under any pressure to join in with the various activities. There’s a notice board where details of what’s on and when are pinned up each week. It’s down to individuals whether they want to take part or not. As well as our coffee mornings, we have a weekly film night and when the weather takes a turn we can soon arrange a mid-week musical matinee. Our lounge plays venue to quizzes, craft clubs and even fitness classes. When the development first opened I suggested various activities to get the social ball rolling. But the homeowners themselves soon took over, coming up with ideas that I now help to facilitate.
It’s wonderful to see the relationships between homeowners grow. Some have come from big old family homes in the middle of nowhere, with isolation often a problem for them. Now, their neighbours are people at a similar stage in life, and it’s great to see the strong friendships that blossom between them. So much so, that they don’t just do things together within the development – they also go off in groups for meals and day trips, often completely spontaneously. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked to arrange for a mini-bus for another visit somewhere. At the moment,
I’m even helping with arrangements for a group holiday.These are people who are thriving in each other’s company and who really seem to care about their neighbours. We recently had a fish and chip supper and a couple of homeowners couldn’t make it at the last minute because they felt under the weather. It was lovely the next morning to hear that someone had nipped up to their apartments, delivering supper to their door. To me that summed up the community spirit we enjoy here, where no one is ever left out."
You have to be careful opening the cupboard doors in our communal kitchen. They’re crammed so full of cakes, picked up by various homeowners to share with their neighbours over coffee, there’s always the risk of an avalanche.