Ivor’s story

In 2013 Ivor Owen had an operation that changed his life forever.

Ivor, a former brick layer, was living in Spain when he received the devastating news that his leg needed amputating, leaving him wheelchair bound. Ivor, 67, now lives in Jill Jenkins Court, a bpha extra care scheme in Luton. Here’s his story.

“When I returned to England I had no money and nowhere to go. After arriving at Luton airport I had to declare myself homeless and was placed in temporary accommodation. That was until I was offered a place at Jill Jenkins Court. It’s an extra care scheme where I have my own flat and my own independence with care on site that meets my needs.

“I did struggle to feel at home there at first being one of the youngest residents. I used to have a really active lifestyle too and I was really missing this.

“Everything started to improve for me when a gardening project was set up for Jill Jenkins residents to take part in. With the help of staff and volunteers, I started to maintain the scheme’s large garden, planting new shrubs and growing vegetables. From here, I began to take on other responsibilities – organising dominoes clubs for residents, and doing the paper round in the scheme. I felt like I had a sense of purpose again.”

Eighteen months on, Ivor is now looking to set up his own green produce business – selling the vegetables that he grows in the communal garden to the caterers at Jill Jenkins court.
Ivor said, “I feel like Jill Jenkins is my home now and that I’m able to make an impact here.”

Ivor will be thanked by bpha for everything he has done for the Jill Jenkins community in June, when he will be presented with a Community Hero Award.