Search

‘People think it’s an old people’s home’ - Elm Park sheltered home residents out to dispell myths

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 July 2014

Mick Droy and Peter Cox enjoy the sunshine in the garden

Mick Droy and Peter Cox enjoy the sunshine in the garden

Archant

“This is not the last chance saloon,” says Mick Droy, as he sips a cup of tea, fresh from throwing a few darts.

The community room is equipped with a pool table, bar and dart board The community room is equipped with a pool table, bar and dart board

The 70-year-old is a resident and committee member at Thomas Sims Court, a sheltered housing accommodation in Elm Park.

After moving in two years ago, Mick soon decided the community room at the Wood Lane home was in need of a makeover.

It now includes a pool table, dart board, bar and television - which all help to create the vibrant atmosphere that makes the place so popular with not just the residents, but their family and friends too.

“We had 42 people here for a pool night the other week,” states Mick. “Grandchildren came with their own drink, on a Friday night.

Peter Cox at the bar Mick built six months ago Peter Cox at the bar Mick built six months ago

“The family members realise we are having more fun than they are! The women like to chat and watch the television, although we’ve had the World Cup on the last few weeks!”

One of Mick’s goals was to make Thomas Sims a more male-friendly environment - and to add to the three men who lived there when he moved in.

“The problem is people think it’s an old people’s home. A friend delivered a parcel here a few months ago and saw someone going out. He said ‘Is he allowed out? Has he got his own key?’

“People think of it as institutionalised, like 6.30pm comes and they throw the key away.

“We have our own front door. I come back at 2.30am if I am out with the family. It is superb.”

Of the 32 homes on site, there are now six male residents - an improvement, but not enough of one.

“This place is not the end of the road,” said Mick. “I used to live with my daughter and son-in-law. They wanted me to stay with them but I decided two years ago that they don’t want some old doddery bloke hanging around, and I visited this place. I thought I could crack it here.

“The beauty of it is you can sit in your room and think ‘I’ll go for a walk and have a cup of tea’ and there’s other people in here.” We give people a choice. We don’t force people to get out, we encourage them to.”

Mick forms part of the committee, along with Albert Medley, and married couple Peter and Doreen Cox. All decisions and proposals go before the residents - but having fun is the main ideology.

“It’s like a youth club,” said Peter, 69, a resident of five-and-a-half years. “We have social mornings, pool nights and trips out. We went to Southend last weekend. We do the gardening too.

“Doreen takes care of everybody. She tells us all what to do and we do it!”

The work of Havering Council has not gone unnoticed by Mick and Peter, who agree that “any” problems are resolved by the authority’s mobile support workers.

“I think this borough should be the flagship for others in the way they lean towards the residents in this scheme and others,” added Mick.

Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, said: “I think Mike and the tenants at Thomas Sims are great examples of how you can create a community within a sheltered scheme. I hope that our open days at the end of the month gives further proof that there’s more going on than you might imagine”

There will be five open days and tours from July 31 - August 2. To book a place, call 01708 434668. Transport will be arranged and refreshments provided. Family members are welcome.

Read more:

Eleventh hour plea to Havering Council to halt plans to build in sheltered housing car park

New Havering housing strategy agreed by cabinet

Latest Romford News Stories

17:00

Don’t miss chance to put your questions to the Parliamentary candidates for Hornchurch and Upminster this evening as the Recorder is hosting the second of three hustings.

It was time to kick off our Sunday shoes as one of the 80s’ cult classics was played out right in front of our very eyes.

Recorder reporters Ralph Blackburn and Beth Wyatt joined Time 107.5 FM’s Steve Allen for this week’s East London News Review.

13:00

David Bowie is one of the most revered solo musicians of all time but a new documentary from a Hornchurch academic shines a light on one of the unsung heroes behind the starman’s success.

If you had the chance to ask your future MP any question, what would it be?

The mum of a 17-year-old boy who died after being stabbed 11 times will be holding an anti-knife crime march through the streets of Romford.

Yesterday, 17:00

Don’t miss chance to put your questions to the Parliamentary candidates for Romford this evening as the Recorder is hosting the first of three hustings.

Yesterday, 16:09

A group of disgruntled parents of Newton Primary School pupils “have no intention of giving up” their campaign against Clarion Housing Group over parking outside the school.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now