Sunderland housing development is class move for old schoolmates

Glenys Armstrong, Pat Robinson, MP Sharon Hodgson and Gentoo Group Chairman Ian Self.
Glenys Armstrong, Pat Robinson, MP Sharon Hodgson and Gentoo Group Chairman Ian Self.
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Two former schoolmates have rekindled a classroom friendship after 47 years apart thanks to their new homes in Sunderland.

Pat Robinson and Glenys Armstrong have just moved into Gentoo’s new Castle Rise development in Downhill and were delighted when they realised they were in the same class at school.

I’ve made so many new friends and connecting with old ones makes it all the better.

Pat Robinson

Pat, who had been keen to downsize for some time, was thrilled to move into her new bungalow: “The sense of community here is fantastic, I’ve made so many new friends and connecting with old ones makes it all the better,” she said

“I am over the moon with my new home, I’d been desperate for a bungalow for some time and was thrilled when I got the keys.

“I’m a keen baker and I’ve always dreamt of having a spacious brand new kitchen, now I’ve got the space to bake for the family when they come round.”

Pat and Glenys were welcomed by Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Gentoo Group chairman Ian Self.

“The Castle Rise development is a fantastic addition that will help provide affordable housing here in Sunderland,” said Mrs Hodgson.

“This is made even more special by seeing old classmates being brought together again, and I wish Mrs Robinson and Mrs Armstrong all the best in their new homes.”

Featuring 51 newly built two, three and four bedroom homes and bungalows all for rent, the £10.1 million development comprises of 88 homes in total, with 37 for sale that were released in 2016.

Ian Self said: “We are proud of our ongoing commitment to providing affordable, new homes to Sunderland and strengthening our local communities.

“It was great to meet Mrs Robinson and Mrs Armstrong and we are delighted that our homes have brought them back together after so many years. We hope all of our residents’ will be as happy as they are in their new homes.”

Castle Rise is one of Gentoo’s five live sites in Sunderland, taking the numbers of new homes being built around the city to more than 500, amounting an investment of £80million.