A packed programme of activities and events ensured 2019 was another year to remember for residents of Cheshire retirement community Gifford Lea.
Active retirees who have made the later living village, in Tattenhall, near Chester, their home took part in a wide range of sporting, cultural and community events throughout the year.
Highlights include the Inspired 1,000-mile Challenge, which saw hundreds of people join TV fitness guru Mr Motivator at Gifford Lea for the finale of the national cycling event in May. The challenge raised £30,000 for mental health charity Mind and raised awareness of the importance of staying active in later life.
In July, more than 500 visitors flocked to Gifford Lea for the grand opening of the village’s eagerly awaited Village Centre, The Grange. Celebrity chef Gregg Wallace – best known for being a judge on MasterChef and for presenting Eat Well for Less – cut the ribbon on the new facilities, which include a wellness spa with infinity pool, restaurant, bar, hair and beauty salon, and gym with cardio wall.
Another highlight was Inspired’s Grand Antiques Tour, which arrived at Gifford Lea in March. The event saw BBC TV presenters, valuers and auctioneers Christina Trevanion and Timothy Medhurst give free antiques valuations for residents of the retirement village and the public.
James Cobb, Director of Inspired Villages, comments: “It’s been a wonderful year for everyone at Gifford Lea. Thank you to all our residents and staff, and the wider community, for their support throughout 2019.”
Gifford Lea’s reputation as a hub for retirees who want to make the most of their retirement was further enhanced when the village – owned and operated by Inspired Villages Group – scooped a prestigious award in September. The Active Neighbourhood accolade was presented to Gifford Lea’s community liaison manager, Lisa Fearn, by Active Cheshire, in recognition of her work to inspire the village’s residents to be more active.
In October, the village hosted an interactive debate on ‘101 Ways to Enjoy Getting Older’ with TV legend Gloria Hunniford OBE, and published author and Gifford Lea resident, Jean Beatty. More than 100 people attended the free event at Chester’s Storyhouse, which saw candid discussion on topics including health and happiness in retirement.
Another highlight was a magical musical event that brought two generations together in aid of BBC Children in Need. The event saw The Queen’s School Choir, in Chester, visit Gifford Lea to enjoy a sing-along with the residents, and to record a special version of a new song that was broadcast during the TV coverage of the charity appeal in November.
The school’s chamber choir returned to the later living village in December for a special festive event featuring Christmas carols and mince pies.
The past 12 months have also seen the residents enjoy museum and theatre trips, walks, afternoon tea, Burns Night and Chinese New Year celebrations, coffee mornings and Christmas market visits.
Meanwhile, Gifford Lea has shown its support for the Chester area by sponsoring worthwhile causes including the Grosvenor Museum, Chester Cathedral’s Christmas tree festival, and a Last Night of the Proms celebration for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
In 2020, residents can look forward to taking part in a creative writing competition judged by authors, as well as monthly food taster sessions in the impressive brasserie and lots more.
James adds: “There’s no danger of our residents being bored at Gifford Lea, whether they’re looking to rediscover old hobbies or try something new. Like all our villages, it’s a welcoming community where like-minded retirees can enjoy the best years of their lives.”
If you would like to be kept up to date about events at Gifford Lea, please visit giffordlea.co.uk/events
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