Leonard and Norma Hilborne, Charters Village

One of Charters Village’s newest couples have moved in, but as they are still involved in a family business specialising in electronics and factory solutions they are nowhere near ready to retire.

In fact Leonard and Norma Hilborne, 85 and 76 years old respectively, are establishing themselves as two of our most active and independent residents.

The Hilbornes have a real zest for life and enjoy tennis, golf and dancing. In fact, are former professional dancing teachers, having become masters of Latin American and ballroom dancing over years of practice.

Leonard and Norma are immersing themselves in the village’s social scene and getting to know other residents. With a broad smile on her face, Norma says she is delighted that many of the events and activities at Charters are organised by residents and admits she is hoping to get involved in future events.

So what inspired the move to a retirement village?

“Whilst previously we lived in a lovely apartment it was on the top floor of an apartment building and didn’t have a lift, so the stairs were becoming a problem as we both grew older,” Norma explained.

She continued: “We felt it was time for a change, but didn’t want to step away from the locality. We and our two sons, who run our company’s daily operations, have lived in this area for many years so we wanted to stay in the area.”

Charters is located in East Grinstead, so well within the Hilborne’s geographical remit. What’s more, they already knew someone who lived there and had attended social events in the village before they moved in.

Leonard says:

“We saw how happy our friend was here and knew we were going to love the Charters lifestyle, so it was an easy decision to make. It was important for our sons too because although we are in good health, we aren’t as young as we used to be and they were concerned about us climbing those stairs in our last property.

“Now we are settled in we have a range of living assistance and care services at our fingertips should we ever need them, as well as a lift to reach our new apartment, so this gives the boys great peace of mind.”

The Hilbornes are in constant touch with their two sons, as well as their two beautiful grandchildren (aged five and two) who are, of course, regular visitors at Charters Village.

“It is lovely being so close to our family, especially at times such as Christmas and birthdays, because we can get together and have a great time,” emphasises Norma. “Family is everything to us!”

Leonard and Norma say the facilities at Charters, which include a restaurant, bar, library, conservatory and shop are second to none and there is a strong sense of community around the village.

“We have made lots of new friends here, the Charters staff are fantastic and are so helpful, we feel that we can approach them about anything says Leonard. “We are so happy and fortunate to have found this retirement village and are looking forward to building a life here.”