.

Betty Symington

Support with housing

Betty Symington says moving out of her three-bedroom Banbury house into a ground floor flat was “the best thing that’s ever happened to me”.

Sanctuary Housing resident Betty downsized from her property of many years in February 2018 because she didn’t have a downstairs bathroom and limited mobility meant she was struggling to use the stairs.

Betty was keen to move and following a conversation with her housing officer Jade Shepherd, was offered a flat at The Hawthorns, a housing for older people scheme in the town.

“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me”, Betty said. “I’ve never regretted it for a minute. I am happy here.

“I only used to see my next door neighbour now and again but here there’s always somebody you can talk to. I feel safe. I’d recommend anybody to come here.”

Jade helped Betty fill in the forms required for her to transfer from one Sanctuary property to another and also provided medical evidence which outlined the risks to her wellbeing because of the stairs.

Betty said: “I loved it where I used to live because I had been there for years but it was too big and it’s better for a family.

“The toilet was downstairs so it meant coming down in the night. It was too big and difficult to heat. In my flat once you put the heating on for an hour and you don’t need it again because it’s so warm.

“As long as I can look after myself and keep the place clean and tidy I wouldn’t move.”

Betty, who also now lives closer to her sister, feels part of the community at The Hawthorns and regularly joins in with a host of activities on offer for residents.

“I like to go to the coffee mornings and fish and chip dinner,” she explained. “We have a film once a month and we’re going to start bingo now. It’s a lovely place. It’s ideal and it’s near the shop.”

  • If you’re thinking of downsizing, you can talk to your housing officer or visit the HomeSwapper website.