Loneliness is on the rise and it doesn’t just affect older people. Of the seven million adults in the UK, 1 in 8 of us (13%) have no close friends and 45% of adults say they feel lonely some of the time.*
Evidence suggests that living in communities can dramatically reduce the impact of loneliness.
Here at Staffordshire Housing, we have three 55+ villages in Stoke-on-Trent: Bradeley, Rowan and West End. Our villages offer independent living, a vibrant communal life, and the peace of mind for you and your family that goes with being in a secure environment with plenty of potential to make new friends.
Some of our retirement village residents talk about how village living has helped them beat loneliness.
Ted and Rita, Bradeley Village residents
“Every Saturday we have live entertainment in the bar, it’s great fun!”
Ted and his wife Rita relocated from Yorkshire a few years ago and moved into an apartment at Bradeley Village. Their old home was quiet, with very few neighbours and although they had each other, they longed for new company.
Rita explains, “The first time I went downstairs to the communal village a lady called over to me and said ‘Don’t sit on your own, come and sit with us!’ I was overwhelmed with their friendliness.”
For Rita and Ted it’s great that the village is so close to the doctors and on a bus route that stops right outside the door to take them to Hanley each week. There are lots of activities that they both love taking part in and great day trips and holidays.
Ted says, “Every Saturday we have live entertainment in the bar, its great fun! We even go on holiday together. So far we have been to Llandudno and the Lake District. The holidays are ideal for people living on their own, and who otherwise wouldn’t get to go away.”
Ted and Rita agree that the most important part of village living is the fact that there is always someone around to talk to or an activity to get involved in.
Safety around the village also makes them feel comfortable and happy. “It’s so safe here you could sleep with your windows open!” said Rita. Each apartment is fitted with an alarm pull-cord and staff are on hand 24/7.
“It also helps that our children are happy now that they know we are safe, protected and happy here,” said Rita.
Kath, West End Village resident
“If it wasn’t for my friends at West End Village, I don’t think I would be standing here today”
Kath moved into West End Village with her husband John four years ago.
They’d wanted to move to a retirement village for some time as they could no longer drive and the nearest bus stop was a long walk away. They were struggling to get into town and back with their shopping and were starting to feel quite isolated.
“We loved our bungalow, but when it’s difficult to get out it soon becomes lonely”, said Kath.
Once they moved into the village Kath and John signed up to many classes and activities, “I was delighted to have all of these wonderful activities and lovely people right on my doorstep”.
Sadly John died 12 months ago, just after Kath had been diagnosed with cancer. “It has been an awful year and I honestly believe, without the support of my friends here at West End, I wouldn’t be standing here today.”
Kath and three of her friends all lost their husbands around the same time and were able to comfort and support each other during a very difficult period in their lives. Village living helps Kath feel happy, safe, and surrounded by friends.
* Statistics taken from The Way We Are Now study and comparing this to the total UK adult population as per the latest ONS data.