Residents of a pioneering extra care village are to throw a party to celebrate its coming of age.
The idea of older people living independently in a village style community was virtually unknown when Staffordshire Housing Association launched Bradeley Village, Stoke-on-Trent. The concept was so new it even led to a story on the front page of The Times newspaper.
21 years later there are many older people’s villages across the UK including Staffordshire Housing developments; Rowan Village, Meir, and the West End Village, Stoke.
Bradeley Village opened in 1994 but received the ultimate royal seal of approval in December 1995 when the Queen performed the official opening ceremony.
Based on a concept from the Holland, extra care social housing villages provide residents with their own apartment style homes within a community environment.
Residents can be completely independent and lock the door on their own apartment, but there are care facilities and staff within the complex and the villages also have facilities such as a restaurant, coffee shop, social room, general store and a gym.
Bradeley Village resident Jenny Holdcroft has helped to organise the 21st birthday celebration on Thursday, 27 August.
She said: “Residents will be taking to the stage in a choir and a drama show and we will have a hog roast and entertainment.”
Jenny is a volunteer in the residents’ shop at Bradeley. She added: “I’ve lived in the village for two years and when I heard that you could volunteer I wanted to give it a go.
“Volunteering is very rewarding and I enjoy it. Security was a factor in moving to Bradeley but it is great to be part of the community here.”
“I have been a volunteer for around nine years and chaired the Bradeley Village Company Board for five years,” said former Michelin worker Tony Millington.
“We run facilities such as the shop and coffee lounge and work to make a profit. The money is then spent on events and facilities such as new equipment for the gardening club.”
“Living at Bradeley Village is a lot different to being at home or in an old people’s home. I don’t think I could go and live in a house again. There are always new people to talk to and activities to get involved with.
“You can be as sociable as you want to be and live your life within the village using facilities such as the shop, hairdressers, library and gym.
“It is entirely up to you. You can socialise or just close your front door and live quietly.
Mary Litherland was one of the first residents to move into Bradeley Village 21 years ago. She said, “There was only a small area that we could use at that time for community events. We all worked together and organised entertainment, bingo and activities. We’ve had some very good times over the past 21 years. Bradeley Village is an ideal place for people to live who don’t want to be on their own.”
Another original resident Marg Currid said, “We were made welcome from the very start. We all joined in everything and all worked together to start up the Coffee Pot and the village shop. Whatever we did was always well supported. I’ve been happy here from the start and I couldn’t be happier.”
For media enquiries contact Sarah Pye on 01782 743883.
Notes to Editors:
Based in Stoke on Trent with homes and services throughout Staffordshire and East Cheshire, the group is dedicated to creating opportunities and changing lives by providing high quality homes and services to a diverse range of people.
Parent company Staffordshire Housing Association owns and manages around 3,000 homes for rent and sale, and also delivers regeneration and housing development.
Registered Charity Arch works with some of the most vulnerable people in society, providing support services for people experiencing domestic violence, poor mental wellbeing, substance misuse or homelessness.
Revival, the group’s home improvement agency, works with older and vulnerable people to maintain their properties, help them return home from hospital, adapt their homes to suit their health needs and maintain their independence.