Lynne’s story

After the loss of her husband, Lynne needed to downsize to somewhere that suited her mobility needs but would also accommodate her active lifestyle.

After the loss of her husband Roy 5 years ago, Lynne made a decision with the support of her daughter to downsize and move from the large family home.

After considering moving to a ‘park home’ — a type of standalone mobile home on a private site, most popular among older and retired people — she visited a property at Derwent Court, provided by Johnnie Johnson housing trust, and immediately felt at home.

This is her story:

When Lynne moved to Derwent Court in August 2013, a number of factors played a role in choosing her perfect downsizing option. Having suffered with multiple joint arthritis and a raft of other medical problems for years, Lynne also underwent knee replacement surgery earlier that year and needed to be in a home on one level with no stairs. She remains active however, caring for her elderly aunt and visiting her mother in Scotland as often as she can.

On visiting, Lynne’s initial feelings about the property were cemented when she exited the building and came across signage explaining the origins of the housing trust, established in 1969 by Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson, the highest scoring RAF fighter pilot to survive the Second World War. Lynne is ex-RAF herself, and she remarked that “it was destined to be”.

Since moving, it’s a lot easier for Lynne to manage household duties and there is just enough room so that the family are able to visit and stay over at hers or in the attached guest room facilities.

The move was a good decision financially and most importantly Lynne has made good friends who she can rely on. As a result, Lynne often goes on trips and gets involved with activities run at the scheme. Most recently, she has had involvement in organising afternoon tea fundraisers in support of Armed Forces Day, St David’s Day and St George’s Day. It’s important to all the residents at Derwent Court that activities support different local and national causes such as the military charity SSAFA, Dementia UK and local hospices.

The scheme has a friendly atmosphere, and Lynne feels able to go away to visit family and not feel worried about leaving her property for periods of time. She is so glad that she didn’t make a different decision about housing and feels that had she moved in to another type of property, she would have been left feeling very isolated.

Instead, she says, “living at Derwent Court has given me peace of mind and security for myself, my family and my friends who know I’m happy, active and secure in the comfort of my own home.”

Help raise awareness

Thousands of people have gained their independence through supported housing. The Starts at Home campaign aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

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