Pam Walker - Hughenden Gardens Village
Pam lives with her husband Bryan and their white West Highland Terrier, Mickey. Pam tells how moving to Hughenden Gardens Village has given the pair a new lease of life.
‘I have lived in High Wycombe all of my life. My mother and father were managers of the YMCA for military personnel and I went to the local schools.
I actually worked on site, where we live now, when it was Broom and Wade, manufacturers of air compressors. I worked in the accounts department until I left and had a family. I didn’t want to return to that particular job and instead took a job at a school helping out with the meals. I went on to gain a City & Guild’s qualification in cookery and had a career in catering for a further fifteen years.
As a girl I sang in the local church choir. The organ had to be pumped by hand and we all took a turn to pump the organ while the others sang. At the age of 58 I decided I wanted to learn how to swim and I did. But I don’t like the water very much so when I reached 62 I took up tap dancing, and thanks to participating in a Christmas show at the local Wellesbourne County School, wearing a top hat, fishnet tights and a cane I achieved a higher grade in my exam!
I met Bryan in 1979. We have four children between us. We lived locally in a three bed house in Totteridge for 28 years having moved around a bit. The house had steps which meant that Bryan was virtually housebound which made him very unhappy and depressed, and this also had an effect on me.
I went alone to the friends meetings but after telling him all that I learned about ExtraCare, we both agreed it would be perfect for us.
We have now been here since May. We love our apartment and the village. The change in Bryan has been nothing short of a miracle. His trusty walker now means he has access to the whole site, walking around the building is his new found strength.
His personality has reverted to the man I married. He loves a game of bingo having the occasional win! And we also both join in the quizzes and go together to cards on Friday mornings. Bryan has taken great pleasure in setting up the greenhouse with his fellow gardening club members.
The carers on site are excellent and Bryan receives all the care he needs, which gives me some freedom, and takes away a lot of daily stress from us both. I have osteoarthritis in both hips and outside of the village use a walking stick to get around, but I don’t need to use this inside the village.
Bryan and I also have a twelve and half year-old West highland Terrier White called Mickey. He is our little security dog and has settled in really well into village life. He loves nothing more than lying on the balcony and poking his little nose out under the glass and watching the world go by.
All of this has made our lives so different; going to classes in the gym and meeting friends for a meal in the bistro. I can only say how grateful I am for the change of lifestyle moving to the village has given us both, we honestly have a new lease of life.’