Residents at a housing scheme for older people in Rose Hill, Oxford held a garden party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of when it first opened.
Alice & Margaret House provides accommodation for people aged 55 and over and is managed by GreenSquare. GreenSquare built the scheme in 2009, replacing two former housing schemes in Rose Hill, Alice House and Margaret House, which originally opened in 1968.
On Saturday 25 May they marked the milestone with a garden party including activities, food and drinks, and live music from country and western singer and guitarist Tony Hetherington. Tony is from Wantage and is part of the Ridgeway Country Band, he is popular with the residents at the housing scheme having put on performances there before.
Phyliss England, 72, has lived at Alice & Margaret House since for 10 years, she was one of the first residents, and helped organise the party: “I love it here, there is a good atmosphere here and a real lively community. I hadn’t been in a housing scheme before I moved here, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I settled in with no problems.
“It feels like the 10 years has gone quickly, I can remember my granddaughter was a baby at the time and she used to come to our lunch club sessions and she’d sit on the table, she’s nine now!”
The residents also invited their neighbours to the party, many of whom have also lived nearby since Alice & Margaret House first opened.
Irene Fowler, 76, has lived at Alice & Margaret House for eight years. She is a rep at the scheme, meeting with residents every few months and taking forward their views and suggestions. She also organises trips out. “It used to be one trip a year, now we sometimes do five trips a year plus holidays, she says: “We’re going to Great Yarmouth and Torquay soon. It’s good to get people out; people here wouldn’t go on a day trip on their own, so it’s nice to go together in a party.”
Irene has 19 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild: “I enjoy it here, everyone is friendly, and I was made to feel welcome when I first moved in”, she said. “We do a lot of activities, such as fish and chip suppers and music nights."
GreenSquare manage 21 housing schemes for people aged 55 and over in Oxford, as well as schemes in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
Chris Wildman, 55+ Service Manager at GreenSquare, said: "The residents were very excited about the anniversary event and worked hard on the plans, supported by our community officers and activities coordinator. We were delighted to celebrate 10 years of the scheme, it was great opportunity for residents to have fun and share their different experiences – both those who are fairly new to Alice & Margaret House and others who’ve been there almost since the beginning."
GreenSquare's community officers visit on a weekly basis, supporting residents with their tenancies and management of the building. They also support residents to build a strong and lively community on the scheme.
Alice & Margaret House is made up of 26 individual properties, many with balconies and all with access to a shared garden, large lounge and other communal areas.
More information about GreenSquare’s housing schemes for over 55s is available on the website.