Fighting Loneliness

Over 1 million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to anyone (NHS 2021). We specifically design our developments to allow communities to thrive. Hear from Sherborne Homeowner Charles, 77, who says he now sees more people in one day than he did before within a week.

Charles Pyman 77, a Sherborne resident purchased a share of a house in January 2021. He moved with his dog, Hinney, from an isolated, rural location in Devon to a house in one of the Platinum Skies newest communities in Sherborne. He was living in the West Country close to one of his sons, who has now moved abroad for work, as has Charles’ daughter, and he has one son remaining in the UK who lives in London.

He said: “I lived in an old mill in Devon where there were five families, but they were all working so they were out for the day. The farmer opposite dealt with the field around it so I saw the farmer and his wife now and again, but not that often.

“I see more people here in a day than I did in a week in my previous house, so that’s nice.”

“The family had been down in the West Country in the far end of Devon for some while but my son, Thomas, was leaving there, so I was going to be slightly stuck on my own. So, I decided to move further east so I’d be closer to London where my other son is and closer to Heathrow for when my daughter comes back from Dubai.

“I am no further from those relations that I have in the West Country than I was in Devon, but I’m a great deal closer to my son in London who has got three children. Really, a five-hour drive down to the western end of Devon is impossible, but three hours to come down here for lunch and go home again is far more manageable.”

“Also, I was in a four-bedroom house, and I just didn’t need four bedrooms. I was living on my own and my family didn’t come and stay very often for exactly the reason I described and so one seemed to be getting to grips with a number of problems which were only going to exacerbate rather than getting better.”

Charles first heard about Platinum Skies in one of the national Sunday papers and with the help of his son, he came to have a look around a house in our Sherborne community.

“I think Sherborne is a nice place and it’s on the edge of the town, which is what I would prefer to be, and geographically it’s suitably much better than being in Okehampton, close to Dartmoor.

“I liked the place immediately. I have lived in an awful lot of places, and this is really not unlike a lot of them. I’d been living on my own for seven years and I really wanted to have more people around.”

“I often thought in the previous place that if I had fallen down the stairs, nobody would’ve known until the dog complained because she hadn’t been fed. This really wouldn’t happen here.”

Charles says that having a dedicated onsite Community Manager reassures him that he has someone to call upon, who not only arranges activities to bring himself and his neighbours together but also to keep an eye on him if he did need assistance.

“We say ‘hello’ most days and it’s a very nice change because before I was living absolutely on my own, whereas here there is a society of friendly people. It’s nice to have active neighbours with whom one is in touch with and to have someone to provide professional help if something went wrong, it would be very nice to go next door and ask for help.

It’s also nice, although it doesn’t matter to me so much now, but as I get older, the evil day will come when one falls down the stairs or whatever, and it’s nice to have somebody whom the dog can go and shout at.”

– Charles Pyman, Platinum Skies – Sherborne Homeowner