It was a bright and sunny morning when I sat down with Amanda in the lounge area of Tweedsmuir. Already two ladies had meet and were sitting by the patio doors that lead out onto a beautifully landscaped and densely planted rear garden, they chatted and said hello to us, keen to find out who I was. Amanda is the stand in manger having taken over from Lyn who stepped in to the job 21 years ago, 12 months after it was originally built. Some big shoes to fill, I joked with Amanda but she is a person with positive ideas and an infectious bubbly personality and loves every minute of it. Unlike Lyn who was a live in manager, Amanda travel daily from just outside Manchester.
Tweedmuir is known as Supported Living Accommodation. There are 37 rooms in total as individual flats and two larger ones housing married couples. Independent, they have their own kitchens and bathrooms. Every room is taken.
Their oldest resident is a young 97 year old. Her son still visits every day and once a week she still ventures out by herself to visit the hairdresser who’s been doing her hair for, well lets say for quite a while. The longest staying resident moved in as soon as it was built, aged just 72 and 22 years later aged 94 and a half is still enjoying life to the full.
Amanda is keen to get the residents out and about and has already arranged several trips for them, ranging from Blackpool lights, Boundry Mill in Colne and Fish and Chips. Coffee mornings on Wednesdays bring everyone together including an open invitation for friends and family to come along. Afternoon tea is served at 4 o’clock. Bingo on Tuesday nights and on the last Friday of every month fish and chips are ordered and brought into the lounge. After all this Amanda is still keen to stress that it’s still all about independent living.
The Muir Group is a charity housing association with centre in Blackpool, Blackburn, Huntington – Cambridgeshire and of course Chester with their new HQ in Lightfoot Street.
The meting was slightly extended as you can imagine with plenty of interruptions from the numerous comings and goings. To end with Amanda said that Spick and Span gave her a clean and tidy building, the cleaner always came in bright and smily and you knew where she’d cleaned but most of all she stayed with Spick and Span Cleaning because we were easy to communicate with.
As I got up to leave I could see the two ladies were still curious to know who I was. After I told them they made me promise to include them. How could I possibly refuse.