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Surprise celebration shows community spirit in Wellingborough

Greatwell Homes colleagues and customers came together this week to organise a surprise 95th birthday party for a community-minded neighbour.

Following a family bereavement in July, tenants, friends and Greatwell Homes staff, rallied round to give Laura Osborne a surprise do.

In a demonstration of a true community, more than 30 people attended the event, held at Hollowell Court, Wood St, Wellingborough, to celebrate Laura’s birthday and say thank you for the help the 95-year-old gives to others.

Laura said: “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never sworn in my life before, but it was such a surprise.

“It’s been a difficult time recently, and I’m so grateful to everyone. I am a lucky lady to be so loved. Life it too short not to be kind and I really enjoy helping others, so I never expected such a thank you.

“We are such a strong community and I really don’t know what I would have done without Greatwell Homes’ support. I’d be so lonely otherwise.”

 John St John, another Greatwell Homes tenant, explained why the event was organised.

“Laura has a heart of gold,” he said. “She is always helping others and is such a lovely lady.

Hollowell Court is one of 8 Supported Living Schemes run by Greatwell Homes. The housing provider recently launched a new flexible support scheme to help residents remain independent and match support to their budget. It is also looking for residents in Wellingborough who may be considering a move.

Emma King, Senior Support Services officer, said: “We want to ensure residents can choose the support package that matches their needs and their budget. Often moving into a sheltered or supported house meant a ready-agreed support package to be paid for, regardless of someone’s needs.

“By introducing different tiers of support, residents can now choose whether they get a phone call or visit and how often. This then compliments other support they may have around them from family and friends and ensures we run a more efficient service that offers value for money”.

“Moving into a supported scheme is the chance to experience a new community, and the event organised for Laura, and Laura’s passion for helping others, really demonstrates that power of community.”

Greatwell Homes has a small number of properties available at its schemes. Residents or their families interested in finding out more can contact Emma King, Senior Support Services Officer, on 01933 234478.

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