Part of Cheshire’s first multi-generational development, Minerva Place in Lymm is a stylish new development for people aged 55 and over.
We spoke to some of the residents who have chosen to make one of its bespoke apartments their home - and caught up with the development’s very own LifeStyle Manager, Helen Murphy.
Minerva Place in Lymm is a bespoke independent living development comprising a stylish collection of one and two bedroom apartments for those aged 55 and over.
It offers many unique elements, from the on-site Lifestyle Manager Helen who very quickly becomes an integral part of the residents’ lives, to the design features of each property.
It is also part of Cheshire’s first multi-generational development, with a day nursery also on site for babies and children up to four years old (the sister setting to Back to the Garden Childcare in Broadheath) as well as Statham Manor, a stunning 66-bed care home which is part of the award-winning, Altrincham-based New Care.
Its ethos is fresh, friendly and fun, with residents creating a vibrant community with health, wellness and a desire to live a long life very much at its core.
Every resident has had a different journey to Minerva Place - we spoke to Aubrey, Gloria and Constance to learn more about theirs.
Aubrey & Marjorie Raymond
Aubrey, 87, and Marjorie, 86, lived very happily in Warrington and adored their bungalow. They did not want to move, but a devastating dementia diagnosis, followed by a fall, was the catalyst to sell.
Encouraged and fully supported by their children, who all live nearby, Aubrey and Marjorie opted to move back to the village – Aubrey was born on Statham Avenue and is very much a Lymm lad!
The couple moved into a one-bedroom apartment on the first floor, with the care home very much at the back of their minds. Sadly, Marjorie’s dementia deteriorated quicker than anticipated and a decision was made that she would move to Statham Manor.
“Having been married for 68 years, spending every day with Marjorie is all I want. Moving to Minerva Place, closer to our large family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, has been wonderful, and with Statham Manor on site, I can continue to be with Marjorie all day, every day. I visit the care home and Marjorie comes over to Minerva Place too, so together we feel very much part of the development’s community.”
In her role as Lifestyle Manager, Helen has been on hand to help Aubrey and Marjorie, not only with their move to the development but also with their changing circumstances.
“Helen is marvellous – so kind. She will do anything to help.”
Having lived in Lymm for many years, Gloria, 75, and her late husband Pete had planned to sell their house and buy a bungalow, doing it up together. Tragically Pete passed away suddenly, and Gloria no longer wanted to remain in their house, or purchase a bungalow alone.
Wanting to stay in Lymm surrounded by her friends and close to the village, Gloria came across Minerva Place. She loved the location, the fact that it was new-build, and there was a link to Pete as they married at The Lymm Hotel in 2014.
With a house to sell in a challenging marketplace, it took a while (over a year) for Gloria to buy at Minerva Place, but she didn’t look elsewhere, and is the newest resident at the development.
“I wasn’t happy in my house after Pete passed and so for me it was the right time to move. Minerva Place was very appealing, although I did wonder if I was ‘too young’ but that is not the case at all.
“There is a great sense of community, which other independent living developments do not have. Living here is different, but I am making friends with my neighbours which is lovely, and as more people move to Minerva Place, it will naturally become a vibrant place to live.”
Constance, 87, lived 150 miles away in Bristol, residing in a large townhouse for over 50 years, although she is originally from Macclesfield. With her daughter living in Lymm, plus two grandsons and a great granddaughter close by, the option of moving back to Cheshire was something she always knew would happen, but she did wonder when the right time to move would be.
Friends in Bristol had started to move to independent living developments, and whilst Minerva Place was under construction, her family requested information.
“I was very happy in Bristol with plenty of friends, but it is better to be near family, so I took their lead when they reviewed the development information, with my son choosing which apartment was best for me and making the reservation.
“After my mother passed, my late husband and I used to drive for hours to visit my father every other weekend – I did not want my family to have to do this.
“The properties at Minerva Place are very attractive and I live in a two bedroom apartment with an outdoor patio. I am very happy here. It was a good decision to move from the townhouse, which had two stairlifts in. I don’t miss those!
“I have plenty of space and brought around 300 books with me (I had over 2,000 books in Bristol – I was a teacher) as well as my cherished Bristol blue glass and some pieces of furniture that I wanted to keep.”
Constance has made friends at Minerva Place, including Lifestyle Manager Helen.
“Helen is always available to help. She is very easy to get on with too. She is extremely well suited to her role at Minerva Place and hosts lots of get-togethers for the residents which are well attended and lovely events.”
Meet Helen Murphy, Lifestyle Manager at Minerva Place
ALTRINCHAM TODAY: What attracted you to Minerva Place?
HELEN MURPHY: I wanted to work somewhere I could make a difference to the customers. My background is hospitality management and I have worked in several service-oriented roles in a number of sectors. I enjoy roles where no two days are the same, that require me to think on my feet and where attention to detail is important – the role of Lifestyle Manager includes all of this!
Minerva Place is part of an intergenerational development, including our apartments, a care home and a children’s nursery, which I feel is really special. The apartments are beautiful, and as buyers are dealing directly with me and our sales team, rather than an agent, it feels much more personal.
AT: What approach do you take with potential buyers?
HM: We offer a bespoke approach. We encourage our visitors to view the development to give them an insight into what a potential new life at Minerva Place might look like, including the beautiful show apartment where we discuss the features within the apartments, as well as showing them around the communal grounds and lounge.
We have a choice of one and two bedroom apartments, and buyers are shown a variety to allow them to see the different styles available. This helps identify if they want a hallway, or an open-plan layout, a second bedroom or a study, if they want to wake up with the morning sun or have a south-facing patio etc. We often discuss the furniture they hope to bring with them and how they live in their current home, to help with this process.
We encourage buyers to book an appointment wherever possible to ensure we can give them the time they need to discuss their requirements and look around, but we also welcome walk-in visitors too. We want to be flexible and will consider out of hours appointments and home visits where we can. Moving at this stage of life can be quite daunting and we never want our buyers to feel rushed.
AT: What difference does a Lifestyle Manager make at independent living developments?
HM: I can only speak for myself at Minerva Place, but I want it to be warm and welcoming, vibrant and fun. I respond to owner requests and queries, facilitate regular events and activities that the owners have expressed an interest in, all whilst ensuring they live in a safe and beautiful building. It’s reassuring to have someone on site to ask, rather than having to call a number or send an email, which is so impersonal.
I’m the friendly face at Minerva Place and try to pre-empt any stressful situations for buyers and residents alike. They’ll be downsizing but it shouldn’t feel that this next chapter of their life is a downgrade!
AT: What are your top three selling points for Minerva Place?
HM: Location – the development is yet close to the centre of Lymm village and the surrounding picturesque Cheshire countryside. There is a thriving and very social community on their doorstep.
New – the apartments are brand new and thoughtfully designed to be in keeping with the local area. They are energy efficient and easy to maintain, which gives residents peace of mind (many of whom may have come from larger, older properties that require constant upkeep) and frees up their time to enjoy their lives.
Residents – our residents are fabulous! They have a positive attitude to living long lives and having fun. They inspire me every day!
AT: Is there anything else we should know about Minerva Place?
HM: Yes absolutely! Our residents are entitled to two hours’ domestic support every week, with the option to increase this as their needs change. From changing beds and doing laundry to putting the shopping away, residents can use these hours as they wish. We also offer a regular ‘good neighbour’ call – if needed – which is just me checking in with the residents by phone or in person. This can be reassuring if I haven’t seen them for a few days, both for the resident and their extended family if they live out of the area or are on holiday.
Each apartment comes with a dedicated care parking space, plus a washer dryer and slimline dishwasher, which isn’t always the case with independent living developments. There is also a laundry room that residents can use, which can help with bedding and towels.
Residents will have a 24-hour emergency alarm within their apartments for when they require urgent assistance and when I am not working. This is powered by our neighbouring care home team.
One of the benefits of living at Minerva Place is the kind and caring community that is developing, and we already host a range of inclusive activities and events on a regular basis. Most activities revolve around a nice drink and chat. We have hosted a supper club, and cocktail evenings are being planned, as well as day trips and quizzes, all aimed at increasing social interaction and cementing the Minerva Place community.
AT: How would you summarise Minerva Place to a purchaser?
HM: When buying at Minerva Place you are downsizing, not downgrading. There is a special neighbourhood growing of friendly, caring yet independent owners who are now enjoying a new chapter in their lives in a stunning apartment that fits well into the local area.
There is a good selection of one bedroom apartments available at Minerva Place, with just a handful of two bedroom properties remaining. For those wanting ample space still, there is also the fabulous penthouse. Just a couple of apartments with outdoor space remain. Prices from £210,000.