Support and independence at St Canice’s Close
“I’ve been content here since I first stepped inside”; those were the words of one tenant of St Canice’s Close in Eglinton at its recent open day. The scheme, owned and managed by Apex Housing Association, was first opened in 1995 and has been providing sheltered housing for people aged over 60 ever since.
Muriel James has been a tenant in St Canice’s Close for around 17 years. Originally from County Laois, Muriel lived in London for 50 years before moving to Eglinton to be close to her niece who lived locally.
It’s definitely quieter here compared to London! Eglinton is a lovely village and everyone is so friendly. You couldn’t get a better location, the health centre is just around the corner and the bus into Derry is so convenient too. When I was steadier on my feet, I used to get the bus into the city every day to walk around the shopping centres.
Another tenant of St Canice’s Close is Pauline McShane. She moved to the scheme 20 years ago along with her disabled son. Pauline says moving to St Canice’s was the best thing that ever happened to her.
I really do believe people leave it too long before deciding to live in sheltered housing. By the time they take the decision, they’re too old to enjoy the support and independence it gives you. St Canice’s is in such a convenient location and it’s great to have the reassurance that if anything were to happen in an emergency you’d have the support you need.
St Canice’s Close consists of twenty self-contained flats and four bungalows. The accommodation is set in beautiful gardens in a quiet area of Eglinton. The local health centre, church and bus stop are a two minute walk away; with many more village shops and facilities all within easy walking distance.
Scheme manager, Jenny McLean, has worked at St Canice’s Close since it opened 24 years ago and says it’s always felt like home.
We’ve had a lot of changes over the years, but life on the scheme is and always has been great. It’s like being part of a family; everyone looks out for each other and there is always someone to chat to or to help when needed. I can’t imagine living anywhere else and I hope to get the chance to retire here someday and continue to live in the scheme.