Purpose built over 55s village helps local resident Joanna deal with the loss of her husbandDate: 11/01/2023
A woman from Bradeley has shared how her local community supported her when she lost her husband eight years ago.
Staffs Housing resident Joanna has lived at Bradeley Village for over 27 years. During that time she says lots of things have come and gone, but it’s her community and their support that have remained a constant.
The village was designed and built by Staffs Housing specifically for people over 55 with lots of amenities on site like a coffee shop, restaurant, gym, shop and salon. It means residents have everything they need under one roof.
It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1995 and was the first of its kind in Stoke-on-Trent. Our Development Team got the idea after seeing how successful similar schemes in Europe were.
A photo of Queen Elizabeth meeting residents when the village opened.
When it opened, homes were offered to people on Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s housing list who were in need of a home. Joanna and her husband were two of those people and moved in after hearing great things.
Joanna explained: “Living in a three-bed house in Norton was getting too much for the two of us to manage. My husband was originally from Bradeley and liked the idea of moving back to the area.
“When my friend recommended the village we looked into it, and we’ve been there since.”
Over the years Joanna has been a volunteer in the bar, taught dancing and been part of the drama club.
“What’s great about the village is that there’s something for everyone. There are communal spaces where residents can chat, craft or do something together that matters to them.
“Over the years we’ve had loads of activities and social groups from a drama club, singing and dancing classes, karaoke, bingo and knitting. It helps bring people together and allows you to make friends so easily.
“I love knitting. As part of the Bradeley Village knitting club I regularly make clothes and hats for babies at the maternity ward at Royal Stoke Hospital.”
Joanna says that it’s the village community that helped her through difficult times when she lost her husband.
“My husband was my rock. He’d been by my side for 64 years and we did everything together. When I lost him it hit me hard.
“My family were great and came to visit. My granddaughter now comes to see me every week.
“I’ve really appreciated the support of my neighbours and the staff working at the village. Although I’m now living alone, my family have peace of mind knowing I’m surrounded by a community of people who would help if needed.”
Joanna says it’s this support that’s helped her get on with life and be excited for the future.
“It’s been a tough couple of years but having people around me stopped me becoming low and isolated. They helped me to stay positive and focus on my future.
“I recently and very unexpectedly also started dating someone living in the village. We don’t live together, but it’s nice to have a companion again.”