Two of our wonderful residents from Charters village recently appeared in The Mail on Sunday. The paper were keen to speak to Mollie and Frances after hearing how their friendship was formed. The pair actually became friends over 500 miles from the UK before both choosing to move to Charters.
Here is their story…
Two friends, Mollie and Frances first met in Switzerland nearly 50 years ago. Now they’ve settled in the same UK retirement village and making the most of it.
They say friendships should last a lifetime. In this case, it has lasted 50 years, crossed borders and ended up at the same retirement village.
Mollie Lufkin and Frances El-Housami are both British born, but it was actually in Geneva, Switzerland, where their bond was forged.
Mollie moved to Geneva in 1969 with her husband Frank and their three children. While Frances had moved to the city for a three-month temporary job, only to end up staying for 43 years after meeting her husband Riad whom she had a son with.
After her husband passed away, Mollie decided the time was right to move back to the UK. She eventually opted for a Retirement Villages property in Charters Village, West Sussex, which didn’t go down well with her family at first.
“They were horrified. They said I was too young to move to a retirement village and that I would get old. Without exception, though, they’ve all changed their minds.”
Frances also lost her husband in Switzerland, and soon decided to follow Mollie back to the UK.
“I wanted an easy to manage property that was in a peaceful location and secure. Likewise I wanted an opportunity to make new friends and not be reliant on friends and family in the future.”
Now the pair enjoy the best of both worlds, together. Charters Village means there is always plenty to do, while also remaining independent with Frances regularly holding dinner parties and visiting her son in London.
Mollie insists that a retirement village has very little to do with your age.
“It’s not a question of getting old here – it’s just such fun.”
Frances believes the only influence age should have is to encourage you to move to a retirement village sooner:
“My main advice to anyone considering a move to a retirement village is to make a conscious decision to do it early in your retirement, I live such an active lifestyle here but without the stress or worries of everyday life. There is a wonderful community feel here, it is peaceful and secure and if you need help, it is available.”