Retired couple, Pat and Jim Skinner, lived in their previous home for 26 years and only knew their next-door neighbour. All this changed on their arrival at Sherford, where they soon got to know numerous neighbours and helped to form the new community.
Two of Sherford’s ‘pioneers’, Pat and Jim moved into a Bovis Home in the town in 2017, shortly after the first properties were built. Having previously lived a mile away in Plymstock, it was a period of ill health that served as a prompt for the Skinners to consider a home that offered them more flexibility, within a close-knit community.
“We have loved getting to know people; people of different generations that we might not have socialised with in other circumstances! Everybody has been so welcoming,” says Pat. “When it snowed, we had neighbours knocking on the door to see if we needed anything and someone fetched us a loaf of bread! For us, being part of this community has been the best bit so far.”
From a quiz at a neighbour’s house and a BBQ, to a summer street party and Sherford Consortium housewarming, Pat and Jim have embraced a vibrant social life and formed new friendships. And Jim has made a host of new acquaintances while out and about walking their energetic golden retriever!
Proving that community spirit is alive and well, Pat and Jim recently responded to a young neighbour’s plea online for a lift to Exeter airport to catch a flight – only for that neighbour to return the favour for them a few weeks later! Volunteering is something that comes naturally to the pair, with Pat also becoming a Sherford Vale school Governor, as well as regularly helping at Sherford Community Church.
The icing on the cake for Pat and Jim is that there are now three generations of their family living at Sherford. Their daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons moved from Plymstock to Sherford in late 2018. Living literally down the road now, Pat and Jim are close enough to have quality time with their family and be able to help with childcare. One grandson goes to Sherford Vale school, which is handily only around the corner from their home.
Looking to the future, the Skinners look forward to seeing the community continue to grow. They can’t wait to use the leisure centre, as well as enjoying the abundant green space with their family and dog. Pat adds, “We didn’t expect all of this purely from buying a house, but we really appreciate what we have here. Sherford is already so much more than we’d hoped for.”