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Case Study: Jenny Gray

26/06/2020 General, Wadswick Green, Case Study, Read Our Covid-19 Related News


Jenny Gray - Wadswick Green Resident

"I have lived at Wadswick Green for four and a half years and there are lots of things I love about life here. The sense of community – there are always people around that you can talk to and make friends with – it’s a safe place, and there are people you can turn to if you have a problem. The surroundings are absolutely beautiful and they seem to be getting more so every year. Lastly, I love my apartment. It’s light, comfortable and easy to look after.

I take part in lots of the clubs and activities available at Wadswick Green. Probably the most important one for me is that I run a walking group and have done for over three years now.

I am a member of Musical Memories, where we listen to music and do quizzes where we have to guess what piece of music someone is talking about. We’ve managed to keep it going actually by zoom over lockdown. I also belong to a play reading group.

I also do Zumba, which is always very enjoyable, and a group of us over the last few years have put on a pantomime, thanks to a very clever resident who writes the script. I think we probably have more fun doing it than people have watching it, but everyone seems to enjoy it, so we are planning to do another one this year.

I very much feel part of a community here at Wadswick Green and we have lots of opportunities to meet. Before lockdown, we usually had lots of social gatherings and resident lunches, supper clubs, organised trips and socials at the Greenhouse. You can just walk over to the Greenhouse at any time and there’s always somebody there to talk to and have a cup of coffee with.

It’s really like any other village – people know about you and you know about them. And of course, you can do as much or as little as you like. There is no compulsion to join in.

Four and a half years ago I came here with my husband and very shortly after that I was widowed. So, for me as a person on their own, Wadswick Green has lots of benefits. For a start, it’s extremely safe, so you never worry about living on your own. For me in particular, I have done a lot of travelling over the last few years and it’s such a great place to leave if you’re going away for a few weeks. You know that you can lock it up and it will be the same as it was when you went away. There are people watching out, so if something did happen – say, there was a water leak – somebody would know, and it would be fixed.

I still drive and have my car here, so before lockdown I would spend my time exploring local towns and villages, going to the theatre, and also visiting National Trust sites. We have a very good Arts Centre in Corsham, which puts on live concerts, as well as the Wiltshire Music centre.

Obviously over lockdown, I couldn’t do any of those things for the first few weeks. So, I have continued to walk and that’s one of the beauties of living here is that there are so many walks just from your door. I’ve explored a lot of new routes, so hopefully when my walking group starts again there are more on the list. I have also started running again, which I haven’t done for years, and I am also learning to play the piano.

An activity I have really enjoyed and appreciated over lockdown is the outside Zumba class. Our usual teacher agreed to come, and it’s been so good. More people have joined in with it because there’s been more space.

The team have been completely supportive to us and remained cheerful throughout lockdown. It is reassuring to know we have 24-hour care available should we need it. The pop-up shop has been particularly good, especially for people that can’t get out. I drive and can pop to the shop but have been buying essentials from the shop like milk, bread and delicious cakes and most recently homegrown vegetables. Chris the gardener has a polytunnel now and he’s been growing lettuce and other vegetables which has been lovely.

Our weekly newsletter has continued and there has always been a list of exercises and quizzes at the end. And I suppose although most of us watch the news, it’s been quite handy to have a summary of the government’s latest announcements.

I’d conclude by thanking the village team for their unfailing cheerfulness and determination to help wherever they can. I have never seen a grumpy face and it’s been the little things that have really helped. At Easter, we had an Easter egg delivered to us by a very charming concierge dressed in bunny ears and for VE day we had an afternoon tea delivered to us, which was a complete surprise. It’s those sorts of things that make people smile."

Interviewed 26th June 2020


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