When retiree, Mrs Rickaby, made the decision to downsize from her four-bedroom house in Pwll to an apartment at McCarthy Stone’s Fern Court Retirement Living development in Swansea, she didn’t expect to be thrown into the middle of a global pandemic just before her moving-in date.

Mrs Rickaby, 71, explains: “I had been renting a large house for some time, and I knew managing the upkeep of it on my own would eventually become difficult, so I wanted to move into a more low-maintenance home. A friend of mine had moved into a McCarthy Stone development in Cornwall a few years ago, and I really liked her apartment when I went to visit. So, when an advert came through the door for Fern Court, I thought I would pop along to an appointment and view the apartments, particularly as McCarthy Stone offer rental options which is the ideal solution to suit my lifestyle.

“I looked around one of the apartments, and I decided straight away that it was the one I was going to live in. I don’t usually like to plan things out, which is why renting is such a good option for me. I was due to move in April, but then the country went into lockdown, so everything had to be put on hold. It was certainly a challenging time, but I was really grateful to the team at McCarthy Stone as they made sure to keep in touch with me during the whole lockdown period, so I always knew exactly what was going on. The delay actually gave me some extra time to sort out all my belongings too so I able to downsize into my new apartment easily.

“When I finally managed to move into my apartment, it was seamless and really smooth, which is thanks to Andrea Chappell and the McCarthy Stone sales team. They took care of the whole process and made it all as simple as possible – from explaining the different rental options at the beginning right through to ensuring I was completely happy in my new home – they’ve been brilliant. As I’m renting there’s no hassle with property chains either, which made everything so much easier.”

And the team at Fern Court weren’t just on hand to help Mrs Rickaby through her moving-in process, they also ensured that all the homeowners at the development were kept happy during this uncertain time.

House Manager Martin Buckley says: “We didn’t want lockdown to get in the way of the community spirit here at Fern Court 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 have held weekly art classes for homeowners, as well as socially distanced ‘chair exercise’ classes. We’ve also made sure everyone has been kept safe and well looked after, and delivered 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 Fern Court 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 Fern Court.”

Fast forward to today, and Mrs Rickaby is enjoying spending time in her new home, albeit under different circumstances than she originally expected. She adds: “I’m really happy here; I’ve got such a nice apartment and I’m so pleased I was able to move in when I did, despite what’s going on in the world. It’s been tricky to get to know everybody at the development so far due to the restrictions, but we are quite lucky to have a large garden here, so we have been able to have some socially distanced catch ups. I’m also looking forward to joining in the social activities as soon as it is safe for us to do so. My two cats have settled in well too, so life is as good as it can be in the current circumstances.”

Comprising 45 one and two-bedroom apartments, Fern Court features a spacious homeowner lounge, landscaped gardens, and a convenient guest suite for when friends and family come to stay. A House Manager takes care of the smooth-running of the development; while a security entrance system and 24-hour emergency call points provide added peace-of-mind for homeowners.

For more information and prices relating to Retirement Living in Swansea, please call 0800 3100 383 or visit www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk/ferncourt.