Beryl’s Chance Of A Lifetime
Published by JeffMcM for Equity Housing Group in Housing and also in Communities
Beryl on the northern belle
Whilst some people may have a negative and stereotypical view of older people, Equity Housing Group is proud to think differently.
At Equity’s housing schemes for older customers there are countless examples of people whose energy, drive and enthusiasm not only inspires others but makes a positive difference to the local community.
To recognise and celebrate older people, Equity came up with the idea of making one lucky persons unfulfilled dreams come true. Through a competition called Chance Of A Lifetime, older customers were asked to describe a lifelong wish they’d yet to achieve and state why Equity should help those dreams to become a reality. There was a great response, with requests from customers wanting to do everything from driving Formula 1 cars, to flying in a hot air balloon.
The eventual winner was Beryl Turner from Whitchurch in Shropshire. Having previously worked in the armed forces, Beryl had travelled extensively throughout her career. But because most of this travel was as part of her work, she’d had little time to see the sights. As well as bringing up her own family and caring for her mother, Beryl had worked as nanny governess, teaching children of different ages and nationalities. She also spent 18 years as a Social Worker. Whilst Beryl feels very fortunate about her life so far, one thing she’d always wanted to do was travel on an old fashioned steam train like the Orient Express. It was this life of service and devotion to others that was one of the reasons Beryl was chosen as the eventual winner.
Beryl invited Scheme Manager Claire Williams to accompany her as her special guest. She said that in addition to being a great help and support, Claire was ‘a really bubbly person who would make the whole experience even more memorable’. The excited pair boarded the Northern Belle at Crewe and travelled to Edinburgh in a luxurious compartment, enjoying five courses of fine dining, accompanied by champagne, to provide the experience of a lifetime. After spending the day in Edinburgh, they returned to Crewe, enjoying even more first class food and hospitality en route.
Beryl said: “Travelling on the Northern Belle was everything I’d hoped it would be, and more. I can’t thank Equity enough. They’ve made me feel so special and made my lifelong dream come true. Even now I keep pinching myself to check that it really happened.”
Equity has recently remodelled, redecorated and refurbished a number of lounges in its older person schemes. They’ve also installed PCs, with access to internet broadband and training available for residents. Later this year they will see the launch of Equity Select, which will provide a range of improved and exciting new services for older customers.
Anna Clewlow from Equity Housing Group; “We like to think of older people as being in the prime of their lives. Chance Of A Lifetime is all about celebrating the fact that our older customers not only have a tremendous zest for life but still have a great deal to offer.”