Making room for old friends

News article

Making room for old friends

As the number of people in their retirement years has increased at Oaklands community, so has the need for accessible, ground floor accommodation. A huge thank you to all who generously contributed to helping us meet this need by converting the community’s disused Creamery into new homes.

Thanks to your kindness, this redundant farm building has been turned into two new, much-needed ground level apartments. They’ll enable older members of the community who have health or mobility issues to have the chance to stay independent and get around so much more easily.

A lively neighbourhood

Having three sets of neighbours – at the Farmhouse, Amber and Pear Tree – means anyone living in the Creamery is unlikely to feel isolated; others will always be near. The conversion work has also created a sociable and safe sitting-out area linking the Creamery to its wider neighbourhood.

Unexpected guests

Although the work went smoothly, the building team and Simon, the surveyor and project manager, did face some challenges.

First, the bats: little pipistrelles and larger, long-eared bats had taken up residence under the old Creamery roof. They’re now at home in purpose-built accommodation; bat boxes as well as a lean-to ‘guest wing’ have been provided to ensure every roosting preference is catered for.

More worryingly, a vast underground cistern, full of water, was discovered –  lurking under a layer of concrete. ‘It was right outside the door where the courtyard was to be’, Simon explains.

But with the cistern drained and filled in, and the bats happy, we are now working on placing the Creamery’s first residents. Thank you to all our friends for helping us get here!