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

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Romford News Stories

A 19-year-old gang member has been jailed for firearms offences after he was stopped in a vehicle with a shotgun.

15:20

A man from Hornchurch has been charged with a number of offences including driving dangerously, will appear in court next month.

14:53

Groups of travellers have set up camp across the borough so that they can attend a funeral in London.

12:00

Children in care and care leavers were invited to discuss future careers at the council’s first recruitment event.

The team behind the running of a Grade II listed building is appealing for more volunteers to get involved.

Havering Council is set to agree a 3.78pc increase in next year’s Council Tax rates at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, February 20).

Yesterday, 18:30

The London Fire Brigade was called to help cut two men out of their cars following a car accident in Romford earlier today (Tuesday, February 20).

Yesterday, 17:00

A Titanic enthusiastic that built a model of the ship, has loaned his creation to a museum as it is due to hold an exhibition on the British passenger liner.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

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