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Retired Couple Grateful For Developer’s Lockdown Services

Posted 17 December 2021 by Keith Osborne

Ray and Barbara were among many residents who benefitted from excellent care from McCarthy Stone...

Prior to lockdown, Miami House a McCarthy Stone Retirement Living Plus in Chelmsford was a bustling community of independent homeowners aged 70 and above, who had not long moved in and were enjoying a social and active retirement.

During the first lockdown its popular Bistro restaurant was forced to close and retired couple Ray and Barbara Andrews, aged 94 and 89, knew they would need to shield. And so, their new retirement apartment became their haven as they were no longer safe to go outside in the community.

Miami House’s kitchen staff quickly swept into action and were commandeered to produce meals to deliver to the doors of those homeowners in need. A service that would be relied upon for approximately 40 weeks in total, delivering over 8,000 meals to Miami House residents during this time.

“Food that could be plated and delivered to doors was desperately needed,” said Katherine Gant, area sales manager at Miami House. “There were people who couldn’t go out. Who weren’t able to call upon their family. Sometimes the only contact they had that day was us coming to the door to drop their food off. It became like a welfare check – it allowed us to see if they had any issues or problems and we would chat to them through the door, just general chit-chat really to know they were okay.”

Ray Andrews commented: “The team has worked hard to support homeowners. When we couldn’t dine in the Bistro, there would be a knock on the door and a cooked lunch would be there along with any weekly deliveries we may have asked for. It saved us really as we were both high risk so couldn’t risk going out.”

Miami HouseMiami House

Katherine continued: “In the main lockdown, the estates team were delivering over 200 meals per week at Miami House. Just to know we were supporting those of our homeowners who were vulnerable meant such a lot.”

Ray added: “We have never felt safer than we do now at Miami House. The extra work and responsibilities carers have had to cope with in order to see the homeowners through this frightening chapter in their lives has been amazing.

“Had we not of moved here on 5 March 2020, just weeks before the first lockdown on 23 March, that support system we relied on wouldn’t have been there. It became such a vital lifeline and took so much of the stress of the situation.

“The security that comes from knowing that a variety of help is available should we ever need it, makes it feel like we couldn’t have made a wiser decision.”

For Ray and Barbara’s friends it was a relief to know that they were in the care of Miami House, with lunch delivered every day to the apartment and help with shopping.

He continued: “Katherine has been like a caring grandchild. She has been wonderful, every step of the way.”

The personal angle of checking up on homeowners each day reflects the communal nature of Miami House. Because of the restrictions of the pandemic, it took a while for Ray and Barbara to get to know people. Now these have been lifted they take part in the available activities and Ray is enjoying being able to play bridge. They both love to read and enjoy sitting out on their new balcony as often as possible.

“The days just fly by”, said Barbara.

Friends have been able to visit and they have all been impressed by the quality and the space of Miami House, its furnishings and its handsome garden.

Miami HouseMiami House

Barbara explains the reasons behind the couple’s initial move: “We had lived in our old house in Chelmsford for 60 years, but towards the end of 2019 we had begun to give our future some thought. We jointly agreed that the house and its maintenance was becoming too much.

“Around this time, we happened to drive down Princes Road and we noticed Miami House. We made an appointment to see the sales consultant, Katherine, in January. Katherine gave us a tour of the development and we had a good look around. We saw a lovely two-bedroom apartment which didn’t disappoint – and the location was superb, with the bus stop nearby. We were sold! We put down a deposit and in just over seven weeks we had moved in!”

Ray and Barbara took advantage of McCarthy Stone’s Part Exchange service, which helped to speed up their move. They also benefited from McCarthy Stone’s Smooth Move offer, which meant there were no removals costs or solicitors fees to pay.

Prior to retiring Ray was a sales manager, as well as being a keen model aeroplane builder and flyer. Barbara worked in the City for the Vintners Company – one of London’s 12 Great Livery companies.

Ray commented: “The Bistro is back open now so we are down there for lunch most days – the food is excellent and so is the choice. It’s never gets old having it just downstairs from us. Getting back to socialising has been so great, and we will always be in gratitude to those who stepped up during the pandemic and helped people like us when we needed it.”

Situated on Princes Road, Miami House is a Retirement Living Plus community designed exclusively for the over 70s. The collection of privately-owned and rented apartments provides Chelmsford retirees with the opportunity to downsize and enjoy an independent, low-maintenance lifestyle, with the peace of mind that support is on hand if required. An on-site restaurant serves fresh and nutritious meals daily for those who are after an alternative to cooking in their apartments, and personal care packages can be tailored to suit changing individual requirements.

Miami House features a homeowners’ lounge, landscaped gardens and a hotel-style guest suite for when family and friends visit. An estates team is on hand around the clock, and there is a security entrance system and 24-hour emergency call points.

Prices at Miami House currently start from £452,500 for a luxury two-bedroom apartment with rental options also available to make moving even easier.

Find out more about Miami House from McCarthy Stone.


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