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Reunited in retirement: Meet the mother and daughter who are back living together

A mother and daughter duo from Nailsea in North Somerset say moving into the same retirement development has made their relationship stronger than ever and helped to combat loneliness.

Jan, 83, and Sue, 64, live in FirstPort’s Kingshill Gardens independent-living retirement development in North Somerset.  

While the pair say the move wasn’t just to be closer to each other, it does mean they get to benefit from being only a stone’s throw away from each other and they’re always there if either of them needs help.

Mum Jan moved into the independent-living development in 2015. She explained:

“My husband passed away and had been gone for about six and a half years and I realised my house was too big. 

“When you’ve been married for 50 years and suddenly you are on your own and the responsibility is on you to look after an empty house, it’s a bit daunting.”

Jan explained she had viewed Kingshill Gardens retirement development when it was still being built and she’d kept an eye on its availability over the years.

She added:

“After a while, I thought to myself ‘why am I doing this’ and that’s when I decided to move to Kingshill and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Only months after moving in, Jan’s daughter Sue – who was then 57 years old – loved the development so much that she decided to purchase a bungalow.

Sue said:

“I had been living further away and wanted to come back to Nailsea but I just couldn’t quite afford it.

“I had been helping my mum with her search for somewhere smaller and I came along with her to view Kingshill Gardens.

“But I also thought that it was where I would also love to live. The location is great and is right on the edge of the countryside, everybody was so friendly, and it seemed like a lovely little community. It wasn’t that long after that I ended up moving in.”

The North Somerset residents say the move was useful during the coronavirus pandemic and that they were grateful they could bubble up. 

Jan said she loves to have her daughter so close, adding:

I can always rely on Sue, especially when it comes to having to do something on the computer – she’s always there to help me!

The move has meant that Jan has been able to have her whole family nearby. Her two sons, Sue’s brothers, also live in the area and frequently visit.

Sue said she would “definitely recommend” other people in a similar position to take the step and move into an independent-living retirement development, adding:

“One of the main things is that I feel comfortable here and I love being close to mum and I sometimes think ‘oh, if I was on my own, I’d still feel safe here’.

“Quite a lot of residents have made good friendships and above all, our Development Manager Becky is only a phone call away. In fact, Becky is more than a Development Manager – she’s always available to help when we need it.”

FirstPort Development Manager Becky Charrison, who has been working at the development for over 15 years, said:

“It’s brilliant that Sue loved the development so much after visiting that she also decided to move in. I really try and make Kingshill Gardens a welcoming place for all our residents and it’s just wonderful that both Sue and Jan are so happy here. It just goes to show that retirement developments are perfect for a range of different ages.”