Lincs park residents rally in bid to lick the lockdown
RESIDENTS and the family owners of The Elms retirement park in Lincolnshire say that a resolve not to be brow-beaten by the current crisis is helping them win through.
The mature occupants of the 340 park homes, reports director Tracey Coulson, are showing how a community can work together in even the toughest of times.
She says that a special new Facebook group page set up by the park for residents is being widely used to keep people in touch, and to offer advice and support.
Residents are also determined to look on the bright side of life by suggesting new crafts and hobbies, swapping happy memories, and posting their favourite photographs.
Tracey says that park home owners quickly got into gear when the lockdown began by commandeering their minibus for shopping trips rather than leisure outings.
Residents even managed to help stage The Elms’ annual open day earlier this April, despite the park being firmly closed to outside visitors:
“The open day is always a popular date in the calendar as residents enjoy helping to show people around the park and describing their lifestyles here,” said Tracey.
“But this year, we decided to make it a virtual event, and used a series of videos streamed on Facebook to recreate the experience people usually enjoy in real life.
“We went inside some empty show homes to look around, and toured the park’s grounds to view various wildlife projects which recently won The Elms a national conservation award.
“We always have been a very close community, but now I think there’s a fantastic spirit of togetherness in which everyone is reaching out to each other,” added Tracey.
Owned by Tracey’s Kinch family for over 35 years, The Elms’ park homes are set in 65 acres of countryside near the village of Torksey.
However, its recent virtual open day was not the first use by The Elms of video – for the park regularly broadcasts events involving residents and other activities.
Recently, it staged a live interview between Tracey and Rufus Bellamy, son of the late botanist David Bellamy whose top gold conservation award is held by the park.
Residents, says Tracey, play an important role in achieving the award by joining in The Elms’ many eco-friendly initiatives.
Many have planted high nectar-bearing flowers in their gardens to provide vital foraging for honey bees and butterflies, and set up bird feeding stations and nesting boxes.
In addition, The Elms has planted hundreds more woodland and hedgerow plants in its grounds, and installed electric car charging points for residents and their friends and families.
During the present crisis, said Tracey, the park is also helping residents access external help by flagging up various resources including a volunteer network organised by the local council.
There is more information about The Elms, including a link to its Facebook videos, on the park’s website at www.elmsretirementpark.co.uk