Category Archives: The Villager Magazine

The Villager Magazine – June 2017

You can view/download the June issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – June 2017 : Summer Months

The summer months are officially upon us, and I find myself sat in my office looking out at a very damp, cold and overcast scene, but still very excited and optimistic about the summer ahead at Whiteley. June brings with it the first of our major annual events with the Whiteley races on Sunday 11th June.
As Head of Hospitality I felt inspired to join in the challenge and despite my efforts to sign up for the 1KM scoot, bike and fun run, I have now rather alarmingly committed myself to running in the 5Km race around the village. In an attempt to stave off the embarrassment of potentially failing to complete the first 500 meters without stopping, I thought it sensible to undertake a bit of training for the big day.
With this in mind I approached a ‘fellow runner’ Mike Askew our new Head of IT for some moral support in training and we set about pounding the streets and woodlands of Whiteley Village in an attempt to get in shape. On completion of our first ‘run-out’ last Thursday we finished at the Admin Building and looking very beetroot faced and barely able to speak I thanked Mike for joining me. Looking like he had just strolled down from the clubhouse, smiling and chatting away, Mike chose this moment to tell me that he had run five Marathons earlier in his career,
most recently in Paris in 2013!! I think I might be a bit out of my depth!!
So please do come out and support all the runners on the day. It should be great fun and we’d love to see you there…. the more the merrier….let’s face it, I think I’m going to need all the support I can get!!
Finally, on the subject of support, thank you again for all your input to the magazine this
month. We are now in the position of trying to find space for all the articles and will do all we can to include as many as possible. Apologies if were unable to include your article this month, we will do everything in our power to include you in the July edition.
Phil Baker

The Villager Magazine – May 2017

You can view/download the May issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – May 2017 : Where is the year going?

Goodness where is the year going? I am just preparing (actually I am secretly in training) for my initial bowl of the season. This will be my fourth opening bowl at Whiteley and it amazes me that these annual traditions seem to come around so quickly. In other ways time
moves slowly.
I had hoped to have been writing to you by now with news of when the work will start on building our fabulous new care hub facility. We have been working very hard on this and the other elements of the new facilities for well over 18 months and as we all know, its living
with uncertainty that is unsettling and appears to make time drag.
I am keeping all fingers and toes crossed for news by the next magazine, though I may need to ensure they are uncrossed for my bowling appearance as crossed digits could severely hamper my winning streak!
Good luck to all the clubs who are starting their summer seasons. I wish everyone a successful, and warm, summer.
Chandra McGowan

The Villager Magazine – April 2017

You can view/download the April issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – April 2017 Memories: A Joy to Share.

A funny thing happened to me recently when I was out enjoying myself in London. I was listening to a little jazz in a well-known establishment, when low and behold I was accosted by a Whiteley resident out on his 80th Birthday treat with his wife. I think it was a surprise for all of us! This chance encounter provided an opportunity for me to hear stories about when this kind of night out was a treat for him at the end of a working week. The memories obviously brought pleasure and great nostalgia for days gone by.
Connections with long forgotten times and places often bring much unexpected joy, and sharing them is an important part of the pleasure. None more so than evidenced recently by another one of our residents who was taken literally on a trip down memory lane to find her old home. She couldn’t locate the exact home in which she lived, but found the house her Mum was born in, the church where her Mum married and she herself was christened. All topped off, so I am told, by lunch in The Bat and Ball pub where she remembers going with her sister and sitting outside with pop and a packet of crisps.
And finally we hope to be creating some more memories this month as we say goodbye to our long standing County Councillor Margaret Hicks, who has served the borough and Whiteley so well over the last 29 years. We will be hosting a small celebration for her at Huntley House onApril 22nd and anyone who wants to come and wish Margaret well, and share any memories, would be most welcome. We sincerely hope she will remember Whiteley as a special place full of good times long into her retirement and we look forward to you helping her mark this occasion. Please let Tracey know on 825844 so we can ensure there is sufficient cake to share too!

Chandra McGowan

The Villager Magazine – March 2017

You can view/download the March 2017 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – March 2017

I am writing this piece on a Sunday morning, watching the birds in the garden preparing nests and gathering food. It certainly means that spring is on its way! It’s also a reminder of the natural rhythms of the world in which we live and how we share experiences, such as the changing of the seasons, whatever our circumstances.

The research we launched with the Cass Business School last month has also brought about a change in which we can all share. The awareness that Whiteley is a special place and has profound effects on people’s lives, particularly in terms of living longer is no longer our own secret belief, but a proven fact. Our resident’s surveys in both 2015 and 2016 were indicators that between 70 – 75% of people living here felt that we had something to share about life here that would be of benefit to others. We have now started to do this through the Cass research. Though we don’t yet know how this important information might help more older people we are sure that the rhythms of life at Whiteley will continue far beyond the initial flurry of outside interest and may also offer opportunities as yet unforeseen for renewal and growth , just as the changing seasons.

Our thanks go to everyone who has helped us by talking so positively about life at Whiteley now and to those who have gone before, who set the foundations for the ethos of the community in which we all share such pleasure today.

Chandra McGowan, CEO


The Villager Magazine – February 2017

You can view/download the February 2017 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – February 2017
Welcome to February

Welcome to February – a significant month for the Trust and for the magazine I hope too. I understand a number of Villagers have come forward to actively participate in the planning and editing of the magazine, for which we are very grateful. I believe they will start to get this new process underway during February and you will begin to see some differences next month. The plan to involve people more directly in the make-up, look and feel of the magazine has come directly from discussions at the Care partnership forum, where members of that group discussed how the information that everyone needs about the support services could be improved.
I am sure the new “team” will look forward to your support as they get to grips with the style, content and timing of the magazine. I trust this means that more of you will feel that it is reflecting the views of the Village rather than the Trust and I would welcome your feedback on that after our next edition in March.

Chandra McGowan, CEO

The Villager Magazine – January 2017

You can view/download the January 2017 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – January 2017
Welcome to 2017

Welcome to 2017 and all that it holds. We have an exciting year ahead of us as, with an opportunity to celebrate the last 100 years and look forward to the next. I am conscious as I write that this is a momentous time in the history of the Trust and it is incumbent on all of us, residents, staff and trustees of this wonderful place to ensure that we have given full attention to the lessons of the past, whilst planning for the future. I suspect the original trustees were equally aware of the big responsibility they were carrying and I imagine that if they could drop in today to see the results they would feel an enormous sense of pride at their legacy.
Today, to help keep us focused on the important things that need to be done, the Leadership Team and the Trustees are committed to further improving 5 key elements of our work , which I would like to share with you:
• Developing  a suitably qualified and motivated community of staff, volunteers
and supporters
• Ensuring we have access to flexible funding for the new building works
Increasing our use of helpful technology across all our services
Ensuring we continue to have a  beautiful  accessible and sustainable environment
• Telling others about how Whiteley makes a difference to people’s lives, so we are known as the best place to age in Britain

As a charity we continuously strive to offer opportunities that allow all who live and work here to enjoy life as part of this community.
I wish you all the very best for 2017 and look forward to your involvement and support this year.

Chandra McGowan, CEO

The Villager Magazine – December 2016

You can view/download the December 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – December 2016
Festive Cheer

The end of the year is always a time of reflection for me, before I then rush head long into the New Year with a bag of hopes and dreams for the future. This year particularly I have been acutely aware that we are not living in a bubble at Whiteley, as it has been impossible to ignore the seismic shifts in world politics. Most of these global events seem very distant and sometimes of little relevance, but as we all know there are ripple effects which touch us all in different ways. In the meantime, as ever, Whiteley itself has produced some amazingly memorable events, touching and funny stories during 2016 that make me smile when I think back.
For me it’s been a joyful year with much to be happy about, but I am aware that for some it will have been a year of mixed emotions and some trepidation for what the future will bring. The best bit about what connects us at Whiteley is that we have all experienced highs and lows at different points in our lives and throughout the course of our time here, whether we are residents, staff, volunteers or family members. It’s that connection which is part of the Whiteley glue that makes this such a special place.
So whilst remembering both the good and the not so good times of 2016, I hope you will all find a connection with someone or something to smile about, and take that with you into 2017. We have much to be thankful for within this wonderful Village and sharing memories of the good times with family , friends and neighbours allows us to spread a little of that Whiteley magic just a little further.

I wish you all a very happy festive season and your own special bag of hopes and dreams for 2017.

Chandra McGowan, CEO

The Villager Magazine – November 2016

You can view/download the November 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.

The Villager Magazine – November 2016

My piece for the magazine this month will be short and sweet. This is on the basis that I am hoping a large number of you will have been at the Village Hall for the Open Meeting on the 18th October, and as such will have heard my review of 2015 and the latest news about our development plans. As ever, I enjoy the opportunity to talk about our collective achievements and this meeting is an increasingly important way of highlighting these, particularly at a time when working together is critical to our future success. I know that building trust relies on transparency and honesty, therefore the annual meeting offers a chance to share information openly, raise issues and allow space for comments from all involved in Village life. I sincerely hope that those of you who attended found it a useful and engaging event, so I look forward with anticipation to what I shall be able to put in my presentation next year!

Chandra McGowan, CEO

The Villager Magazine – October 2016

You can view/download the October 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE

Villager Magazine – October 2016

This month I have had the privilege of working with our Home Care Team on an early morning shift in the Village. I wanted to tell you about this as I had so many positive comments from the people we visited about just how much they valued the care and support they received from the staff. Also because the staff I worked with were so dedicated and diligent in paying attention to the individuals who depend on them.
This team provides some important help with the tasks of daily living. The little things that make us all feel better about ourselves and ready to face the day. From helping you to have a warm cup of tea in the morning, to assistance in the shower, to make you feel fresh and clean, to checking that people have taken their pills which keep their long term conditions under control, all are hugely life affirming acts that provide opportunities for social interaction, sometimes with people who are housebound and don’t see many other people at all. It is difficult to imagine, for those who are hale and hearty, that we may ever be in need of these wonderful services. Indeed we sometimes feel that asking for help is failure. However, I can say from my own experience with the team that the kindness, care and attention to the needs of the individuals made me think how lucky we are to have this service in the Village. For anyone in need themselves and requiring information about the support available then please contact either Agnes or Lisa on 825846 and 825839.

Chandra McGowan, CEO

The Villager Magazine – September 2016

You can view/download the September 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.


The Villager Magazine – September 2016


It was a beautiful day when the film crew arrived and I have to say what fun it was to have them in the Village. They had been let down by a previous location and were delighted that we could offer them a setting that was perfect for the scene to be shot. As a result they have made a generous donation to the Village and we will have the pleasure of viewing Whiteley scenery in a new film next year.

I came in to see the activity on Saturday morning and have to admit that I personally had no idea that the process was so complex, time consuming and labour intensive. Of course what we as consumers see is always the end product, the piece in front of the cameras. But behind the scenes there are myriads of people all making a contribution to the final production. It’s quite like that running the Village too.

Many of our staff and volunteers are seldom seen, but all play their individual part in the overall “production”. I know some residents have questions like, why do we need so many staff, what can they possibly all be doing and why are we changing what they do? All good questions, and in this analogy with making a film my response is that as the world around us places ever increasing expectations on the quality of the product ( film or village) the roles involved in production must change and develop too. We cannot stand still, otherwise the Whiteley world as we know it would still be showing silently in black and white, not the wonderful Technicolor we all believe it could and should be.


Chandra McGowan, CEO