The first residents have moved into our new retirement living scheme at Fitzwarren Court at Swindon and have been telling us about why they decided to move there and what’s it’s been like so far for them.

Moving into Fitzwarren Court was an easy decision for Bernard Berry and his wife Elizabeth.

The couple, who have been married 59 years, immediately felt part of the new community that is growing at the 37-apartment retirement living scheme.  

They were attracted to the development as it meant they could live somewhere where they didn’t have to worry about maintenance bills and had 24-hour help on hand.

What also made the decision easy was the care packages on offer for Elizabeth, who uses a wheelchair following a stroke five years ago.

As Bernard said: “I had been working 24 hours a day caring for Elizabeth. Fitzwarren Court gives me the time to sit down and be with her.”

And for Elizabeth, it’s being part of the community which she loves.

Part of that community has been built around the café bistro at Fitzwarren Court, just one of the areas where residents can get together to enjoy various activities they have agreed on, sit down and have a meal or just have a friendly chat with like minded people.

Fitzwarren Court has been developed by MHA, a national charity specialising in care and support for older people. Their specialist care values each older person, their life experience and personal preferences and focuses on the well-being of each individual.

Members of staff are chosen for their compassion and respect for older people. MHA provides them with full training to nurture mind, body and spirit, supporting each person to reach their potential to enjoy fulfilled and dignified lives, whatever their needs.

For Assistant Housing with Care Manager Anika Milsom, lunchtimes are one of the highlights of the day, with a real buzz about the café bistro area with people mixing and enjoying a meal together.

She added: “Some of the residents had been living on their own for a long time and becoming isolated. For them it was quite daunting to move here so it is about us helping take away that fear factor and reassuring them that they will be able to retain their independence.”

Welcome parties are held for new residents to meet their neighbours and they are able to bring along ornaments and plants for the garden. As Anika said: “It’s their home, so we need to make it as nice and personal for them as we can.”

Residents at Fitzwarren Court either buy their home outright, rent it or choose a shared ownership option. All apartments include features to give reassurance of mind, including:

  • 24 hour emergency alarm system
  • Specialist flooring to reduce slip hazards
  • High quality kitchens and bathrooms
  • Fire protection with sprinkler system and smoke detectors

Facilities not only include the café bistro, landscaped gardens where residents can help out, a buggy store and library but also a beauty salon, which resident Pat Saunders likes to use.

She moved to Fitzwarren Court with husband John, who lives with dementia, to be closer to their family. It also means peace of mind for them because of the care and support available for residents.

“It didn’t used to be easy to go out and do some shopping because of John’s dementia,” she said. “I do now get time on my own. The staff are very helpful – it’s making a big difference.

“If you feel lonely or are a carer, Fitzwarren Court is the ideal place to be.”

Since moving into Fitzwarren Court, life has been much easier for Len Francis. He said: “You maintain your independence here but knowing that you have care available if you need it.”

If you want to know more about Fitzwarren Court and how it could help you and your partner, your family or friends, give us a call on 01332 221837 visit or email us at



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