Christine & Christopher
Living in Very Sheltered Flats since: 2005
1. Where did you live before coming to the Almshouses?
We had a lovely house in a beautiful, but rather remote, spot in Framlingham.
2. What made you decide you wanted to come to live in very sheltered accommodation?
Christine: I’d had a lot of health issues and it was suggested that the double sheltered flats at the Almshouses might suit us and so we looked into them.
Christopher: It was a big decision to give up our house and the most difficult part was parting with our little dog – but Christine’s health had to come first and we found a wonderful home for the dog so it worked out well.
3. Why did you choose the Almshouses?
Christine: When I became ill, we came and looked round the Almshouses. We’d seen the building from the road but thought it must be a college attached to Woodbridge School. We found it offered everything we were looking for in terms of a space designed for two people plus independence with care services on hand when we needed them.
Christopher: We looked at a couple of other places but when we saw the Almshouses and the Very Sheltered Flats we fell in love with the whole idea.
4. What did you think when you first saw the Very Sheltered Flats?
Christopher: We loved them. We couldn’t believe our good fortune. The Very Sheltered Flats had just been refurbished and although some existing tenants had moved into them, we were the first people to move in from outside.
Christine: We were shown round by senior care staff. They were very friendly and explained everything clearly and reassured us that we could call back at any time if we had further questions
5. How long did you have to wait for a place?
We got in straight away.
6. What was your first day/night like?
Christopher: Hectic! We hired a professional removals company and friends came up from Portsmouth to help us get settled in. The people who were already living in the Almshouses were friendly and made us feel very welcome.
Christine: I was very excited – and happy! We got ourselves sorted out and slept very well in our new bed.
7. What do you value and enjoy most about the Almshouses?
Christine: The care is really excellent and the staff and the other residents are very friendly. It’s a happy place.
Christopher: We value the independent lifestyle and the excellent care that is on hand when we need it. It really is the best of both worlds – once we’re behind our front door its difficult to imagine that we’re part of a communal facility.
Christine: I love the art club, flower arranging and the knitting club and we both enjoy singing sessions. Outside the Almshouses, I am a member of various societies and Christopher and I go out a lot in the car, day trips, shopping trips – all sorts of things. Some days I don’t feel so well so we stay at home in the peace and quiet.
Christopher: We join in almost everything that’s going at the Almshouses and we go out a lot – I am chair of a support group, we both go to St Johns and I attend bible study classes too.
8. What would you say to someone thinking of coming to visit or to move in here?
“It’s a privilege to live here.”
9. What changes have you seen during your time here?
Christine: We arrived as the Very Sheltered Flats were just being completed, so that was a ‘settling in’ period for staff and residents, new and old! Since that time some staff and residents have left and been replaced by new people but the care is still at the same very high standard.
Christopher: The activities have blossomed from small beginnings to a growing and interesting programme of regular and one off events.
10. Could you tell us about your life story?
Christine: I was a nurse for many years as well as being a mother of two, now grown up of course.
Christopher: I worked for BEA (British European Airways) where I calculated the capacity of aircrafts on different routes – including for the King of Jordan! Then I worked for an industrial diamond tool manufacturer in Wales and then I moved to Heinz where I was part of the quality control team. Latterly I worked for J.Bibby Agriculture (now called ABN) which was based in Framlingham.