Caring grandparents get support from The Wrekin Housing Trust
04 August 2017
Linda and David McMillan have moved from a three bedroom house in Malinslee to a specially adapted bungalow nearby on the newly built Park Road estate.
Linda, who used to work in pubs and as a ticket seller at Oakengates and Wellington Bingo Halls, said the new bungalow has changed their lives. “The three bedroom house was getting to be too much as I have mobility problems,” she said. “I’ve recently had my third spine operation and The Wrekin Housing Trust asked us if we wanted a bungalow, which would have a big wet room as we have both been struggling to have a bath or shower. We were offered a two bedroom bungalow and when we heard it was on the new estate we were over the moon and jumped at the chance.”
During their 27 years of marriage the couple fostered ten children aged up to six years old. David, 82, who used to work as porter manager at the Princess Royal Hospital, has suffered a heart attack and stroke, and Linda said having everything on one level has helped him.
“We love our new bungalow as it is quiet and has a lovely garden, the grandchildren think it is great,” said Linda, aged 65. “Our three children and five grandchildren visit all the time and we babysit during the summer holidays to help out. The move has ensured that we can get around more easily, as in our old house doing things like carrying washing upstairs was just becoming impossible. My children have been great helping us to move – they packed and unpacked everything, we couldn’t have done it without them. We love helping out with our grandchildren – they are our little rays of sunshine.”
Recent research from Compare the Market shows that grandparents are the favorite choice when it comes to babysitters in the UK. This is mainly because they are usually free and trustworthy, but they also have more time to spend doing activities like playing games, reading books and drawing pictures with the children.
Brenda Johnson, housing executive for The Wrekin Housing Trust, said: “We are thrilled that Mr and Mrs McMillan are pleased with their new bungalow and that moving there has enabled them to spend more time with their grandchildren. The bungalow is in a fantastic location close to local community shops in Malinslee and a new doctors’ surgery and play areas for the children. It is not surprising that the Park Road development has been so popular. We’ve also been able to let Mr and Mrs McMillan’s previous home to a young family, so it is a win-win situation for everybody.”
The Trust’s Park Road is one of a number of schemes the Trust has nearly completed or has under construction in Telford and wider Shropshire, providing much-needed affordable homes for rent.