Inspired Villages has appointed former journalist and PR consultant Jane Shotliff as its Community Liaison Manager for its forthcoming retirement development in Leeds, Kent. The role has been newly created for the village, which is due for completion in 2020, with its purpose to engage with the local community from the outset.
Inspired Villages, which has the financial backing of Legal & General, owns and operates six retirement villages across the UK including in Cheshire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, West Sussex and Devon. It creates safe, secure, social and comfortable village environments in which residents can celebrate the freedom of later life with flexible care arrangements and enjoy plenty of opportunities for maintaining an active lifestyle. Work is due to commence in spring 2019 on the company’s seventh village – and its first in Kent - at Ledian Farm, Leeds.
The new village will comprise 115 one and two bedroom apartments which will centre around a clubhouse providing a Wellness Centre with swimming pool, spa, gymnasium, and a restaurant. Set within beautifully landscaped grounds, its facilities will be made available to the local public, including a new village shop for the community.
Jane began her career as a journalist, writing for a range of national and local titles, before moving into PR and establishing her own public relations consultancy, JSPPR, in 1997, working for a range of clients in Kent and further afield. Jane joined Inspired Villages in August 2018.
She has formed a focus group for local residents to discuss what kind of facilities they would like to see in the new village to add to the community. The focus group forms part of the Inspired Club, a national initiative in place at all of Inspired Villages’ developments for the over 55s, offering a range of activities for local people to get involved with. This will include events held at the new village, regular clubs and trips to local attractions, as well as partnerships with local organisations with unique benefits for members.
Jane said: “In recent years, not only has Leeds lost its village stores, but also one of its pubs. Residents say they feel the village has become divided – into Upper Leeds and Lower Leeds. It is our aim to re-unite the two and breathe new life back into the community.”
She added: “Isolation is a big problem among older people. By bringing together local people in a social setting, providing opportunities for outings and events between like-minded individuals, we hope to offer them the best chance of leading a fulfilling life. Retirement should not be seen as the beginning of the end – but as a new beginning.”
Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, said: “Our aim is to ensure the Ledian Farm retirement village is an integral part of existing village life in Leeds – not an isolated community. This is one reason why we have appointed the Community Liaison Manager two years ahead of our first residents moving in to ensure this dynamic is established very early on.”
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