I couldn’t be happier, says Judith
Judith Parvin, 78, a former NHS medical worker, moved to Elmbridge Village with her late husband Peter in 2004. After living in their nearby Bramley family home for 12 years they wanted to downsize and came across the Cranleigh-based retirement community purely by chance.
“We were on our way for an afternoon of fruit picking in Godalming and spotted Elmbridge whilst driving past,” says Judith. “Our two daughters had long since flown the nest, one of them all the way to New Zealand, so we didn’t need a big house anymore and were looking for a suitable retirement property in the local area.”
The Parvins were intrigued and quickly called the village to book a visit. When they had a chance to explore the community they liked what they saw.
“Immediately we felt the strong sense of community that exists within Elmbridge and everyone was so friendly, residents and staff alike. At the time, a number of new properties had recently been completed. We asked to look round one and they gave us they key. We were very impressed, it was lovely.”
In fact, Judith and Peter immediately fell in love with the property, the first and only one they looked around, and bought it straightaway!
The Parvins settled in quickly joining the Elmbridge choir, tending to an allotment and starting a lunch club that still runs to this day. They made lots of new friends and actively involved themselves in the village’s packed social calendar.
Sadly, just when they thought their lives were perfect Peter became very ill and eventually passed away. “This was obviously a difficult time but Elmbridge’s other residents were brilliant,” comments Judith. “They visited us while Peter was sick to help me look after him and were very supportive when he died. For this I thank them.”
Since then Judith has looked forward, becoming the court representative for her area of Elmbridge. This means that she is responsible for communicating with residents in the nearby vicinity and raising issues that interest or concern them with the Residents Association.
The Residents Association acts on behalf of Elmbridge’s residents, liaising with the village manager and senior figures at Retirement Villages’ head office to address these issues and help the village run smoothly.
“I’ve been a court rep at Elmbridge for four years now and I really enjoy it. It helps me stay active in retirement, keeps me out of mischief and means I get to meet and mix with people, which suits me as I am a very social person.”
Judith now spends a lot of time with four or five other residents she affectionately dubs her ‘girls’. One of these is Margery Nabavi, who moved to Elmbridge after spending more than two decades in Iran’s capital Tehran.
They are a close group and enjoy trips to local attractions, such as a nearby theatre. Acting is one of Judith’s passions and she met her late husband Peter in an amateur dramatics class. Judith and her friends also holiday together, lunch regularly and catch up over tea in Elmbridge’s communal areas.
Elmbridge’s close community is important to Judith, not just because of the close friends she has made but also because she feels safe and secure.
“One of my daughters is still living in New Zealand, now with my three grandchildren,” she explains. “I visit them once a year and take an extended holiday at the same time. It gives me great peace of mind to know that Elmbridge’s other residents and staff are watching over my home while I am away.”
Fortunately, Judith’s other daughter lives in nearby Rudgewick and they meet regularly to catch up.
Judith is quick to recommend Elmbridge Village:
“There is a wonderful atmosphere here and I am very happy. These are exciting times for our community too, with the new development Elmbridge Manor soon to open. I for one can’t wait.
“If you are retired or close to retiring do come and visit us to have a look round. Make the move while you’re young enough to make full use of the facilities here and get involved in the village’s social scene. You will be warmly welcomed.”