Still living life to the full

Retaining independence and a sense of community is paramount at award-winning country retirement village

“If I have one complaint,” said a relative of one of the residents of St George’s Park retirement village, “it’s that I can never get hold of my mother. She’s always doing something!” I had done my homework, so I knew that St George’s Park was set in 250 acres of beautiful Sussex countryside and I anticipated that the standard of the purpose built apartments would be very high. What I had not considered was that the community would have formed its own active identity so quickly. And active is the key word here. As a resident, there’s plenty to do.

Maes Court, the community building at the heart of the village, offers a range of facilities including a mini-supermarket, an attractive bar/bistro and restaurant, a library, a games room, a hairdressing salon, a therapy suite, and a gym. Outside is a bowling green and croquet lawn. Many other functions are arranged by the residents themselves – from the film club to the summer boules competitions.

As I was being shown around, I noticed a list of November activities pinned to the notice board. It included a firework display and dinner, a forthcoming concert, Mahjong, painting classes and much more. This may be a retirement village, but there doesn’t seem to be much retiring going on!

When I asked Philip Smith, marketing director at St George’s, what he was most proud of among the many awards won by the development over the last few years, he surprised me by saying: “It’s the warm community spirit which has developed among the residents.”

Of course, a sense of community is very important. Most retired people rightly prize their independence – and a great strength of the village is that – while no one is ever pestered to ‘join in’, nobody need be alone if they don’t care to be.

Spacious, light and thoughtfully designed, each two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is a stylish example of how good modern design can be. The buildings, too, display the same attention to detail with covered entrances and carpeted halls.

There is a regular minibus service to the local towns and group outings to popular destinations such as the theatre or cinema. Safety is particularly important in a community such as this and nothing has been left to chance, with monitored 24-hour CCTV coverage of the whole area.

When St George’s Park was voted the UK’s Best Retirement Development in the prestigious What House? property industry awards, one of the judges commented: “The bar for retirement villages has certainly been raised. Here, residents can enjoy their retirement in the manner that best suits them.” It seems to me that St George’s Park is not just a well thought-out retirement development, managed and maintained to the highest standards, but a vibrant social environment in which life can be lived to the full.

Prices from £345,00

Call 01444 259732