Raising cheer for neighbourly love

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TWENTY-FIVE years to the day after the opening of a sheltered housing complex, its original residents have been treated to a celebration.

The Greencroft Sheltered Housing Scheme in South Hetton opened on June 27, 1988.

25th anniversery of shelter housing 'Greencroft', in South Hertton, with some of the original residents. Pictured l-r standing Julie Cain senior client service manager, Alan Wilson, Jenny Atkins, and Tracey Irving sheltered housing assistant. l-r front Bob Ballentyne and Jack Simm.

25th anniversery of shelter housing 'Greencroft', in South Hertton, with some of the original residents. Pictured l-r standing Julie Cain senior client service manager, Alan Wilson, Jenny Atkins, and Tracey Irving sheltered housing assistant. l-r front Bob Ballentyne and Jack Simm.

More than two-and-a-half decades on, Robert Davison, 92, Jackson Simm, 89, Bob Ballantyne, 87, Jenny Atkinson, 89, and Alan Wilson, 82, were presented with certificates and £5 Asda vouchers.

The home’s oldest resident, 94-year-old Eva Ridley, joined them the following month.

Retired book binder Mr Ballantyne, who is originally from Seaham, said: “It was absolutely wonderful. There were flowers and trees, just as you see it now.

“I’ve enjoyed living here – good times. The residents here aren’t just neighbours, they are friends.”

Retired bus conductor Mr Wilson, from South Hetton, said he hoped to stay at Greencroft for the rest of his life.

Former miner Mr Davison, known as “Seymour”, was 67 when he moved in.

When asked if he would stay another 25 years, he said: “I’d be happy to.” Home Group sheltered housing assistant Tracey Irving, said: “It’s wonderful to see they’ve got so much will in them to keep going.

“We’ve got residents who look out for each other.”