When retirees Dr and Mrs Learner made the decision to downsize from their four-bedroom house to an apartment at McCarthy Stone’s Llys Isan Retirement Living Plus development in Llanishen, they did not expect to be thrown into the middle of a global pandemic 24 hours before their moving-in date.
After being told by their removal service that they were no longer able to move the furniture from their house in Vale of Glamorgan to their new home at Llys Isan due to lockdown, Dr and Mrs Learner began to worry. Luckily, the McCarthy Stone team were on hand to help them when it mattered most.
Mrs Learner, 77, explains: “We had been living in our Victorian house in Vale of Glamorgan for 20 years – it is a very large house with three separate gardens. As we are getting older, we knew that eventually it would be difficult to maintain the upkeep ourselves, particularly as my husband is partially sighted, so we wanted to move into a more low-maintenance home. Llys Isan was the perfect choice for us as it’s situated close to our son who lives in Cardiff, as well as near to the train station so our daughters can visit us more easily too.
“We were due to move in towards the end of March and had already sorted the moving-out processes, such as redirecting our mail and telling the utilities companies that we were moving on. So, when we received a call from our removal company, who were due to move us to Llys Isan the very next day, that they could no longer take our furniture due to the lockdown restrictions, we started to panic a little I have to say. We didn’t even have any electricity anymore, so it was a really worrying time for us and we weren’t sure what we were going to do.
“Luckily, the Sales Consultant at Llys Isan, Amie Cole-Dobbins, and her team came to our rescue. As we didn’t have any furniture, we weren’t able to move into our chosen apartment, but Amie helped us move into the ‘Try Before You Buy’ apartment temporarily – it’s fully furnished so we could move in straight away, which was a huge relief. Amie also gave us the key to our new apartment so, when restrictions eased a little, we could start to move some of our smaller items in. The delay actually enabled us to sort out all our belongings in our own time, so we do actually feel quite grateful for the extra time!”
The couple also took advantage of McCarthy Stone’s Part Exchange scheme, which made the move easier for them. “It was an enormous amount of help,” Mrs Learner says. “Going down the part exchange route meant the whole process was handled by McCarthy Stone. We didn’t have the bother of Estate Agents and prospective buyers coming to view our house, which was a blessing in this current climate!
“When we actually moved into our chosen apartment, five months later, it was seamless and really smooth, which is thanks to Amie and the McCarthy Stone sales team. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”
And the team at Llys Isan weren’t just on hand to help Dr, 83, and Mrs Learner through their moving-in process, they also ensured that all the homeowners at the development were kept happy during this challenging time.
Duty Manager Charlotte Scott explains: “We didn’t want lockdown to get in the way of the community spirit here at Llys Isan and wanted to make sure everyone still felt connected and happy.
“We have tried to find safe ways to bring everyone closer together, so we held daily sing-a-longs in the garden, where we played music and danced around the development to entertain our homeowners – it was a big hit, with people coming out on their balconies or patio to sing and dance along with us.
“We’ve also organised small activities and treats for the homeowners to enjoy in their own apartments, such as delivering a cream tea to everyone to celebrate the diamond wedding anniversary of one of our couples, as well as putting out weekly puzzles to help keep sprits up and keep people occupied.”
In addition to ensuring the homeowners were kept happy throughout the lockdown period, Charlotte and the team did everything they could to make sure they were also safe and well looked after. This included delivering food, medicine and other supplies to those that were shielding and couldn’t get out and about.
Nicki Beswarick, Divisional Marketing Manager for McCarthy Stone Southern, comments: “Our first priority at McCarthy Stone is always the safety and wellbeing of our homeowners, so we wanted to make sure everyone at Llys Isan felt safe and supported, as well as helping our homeowners to continue to enjoy each other’s company where possible.
“Through uncertain times, our homeowners have shown just how resilient and strong they are, and never lost faith. We’re all really proud of everyone at Llys Isan.”
Fast forward to today, and Dr and Mrs Learner are enjoying spending time in their new home, albeit under different circumstances than they originally expected. Mrs Learner says: “We feel very lucky to have everything on our doorstep here – the bank, doctors, shops – so we don’t have to travel very far to get what we need, which has proven to be invaluable over these past few months. When things have calmed down, we hope to have visitors come stay with us so we can show off our new home to our friends and family.
“I’d also just like to say a huge thank you to the team at Llys Isan for all they have done for us; I really can’t speak highly of them enough. My advice to someone who is looking to downsize to a new home is to don’t leave it until the last minute – do it while you’re still able to enjoy the facilities, the community spirit and the added safety and support you get at a McCarthy Stone development.”
Situated on Ilex Close, Llys Isan comprises a selection of one and two-bedroom Retirement Living Plus apartments, exclusively designed for people aged 70 and over. The development features an on-site bistro, a communal lounge, which is ideal for socialising with friends and new neighbours, beautifully landscaped gardens in which to relax, and a convenient guest suite should friends or relatives wish to stay.
Prices at Llys Isan currently start from £247,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and £352,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. Rental and part-buy part-rent options are also available.
For more information and prices relating to Retirement Living Plus in Llanishen, please call 0800 3100 383 or visit www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk/llysisan.