We talk to Bev Weatherall,  of Surrey Hills  Park, about park living, her hobbies and why she called on Park Home Chassis Services

It’s strange how sometimes, when we are facing times of uncertainty, fate can play a hand and the least expected things can happen. In just a few months, for instance,new park home resident Bev Weatherall turned her life around.

Bev had been living in Egham, in Surrey, as a divorced mum bringing up her daughter and son until they flew the nest last year. Bev faced selling the family home and a challenging time, financially. She had seen her brother’s park home lifestyle in Windsor, and the appeal of owning a home outright without a mortgage  encouraged  Bev  to  start looking at various parks.

Must haves!
Initially, Bev looked in the immediate area of Egham but soon appreciated she could get more value for money if she cast her net slightly further afield. It was important to Bev to find a site that was quiet and tranquil. As for the home, she had one firm stipulation: it had to have a bedroom large enough to accommodate her super king-size bed! She was moving with

little furniture but she was not going to relinquish the bed. Therefore, every home she visited had to be measured to see if it would fit.

From the family home going on the market to move out date took only four months so Bev had to act quickly.

No one can take it away!
Bev found her fabulous two-bedroom home on Surrey Hills Park, in Normandy. Although the home is fairly old, Bev could see past the dated décor. The home is ideally positioned at the foot of the park where it’s particularly peaceful. In fact, the only people she sees are the immediate neighbours and their visitors, and the odd Tesco delivery van!

Surrey Hills Park enjoys a great community spirit and neighbours Bernard and Margaret have been hugely supportive and friendly. This was a welcome relief to Bev as, having moved from the area she had lived for a long time, it was unsurprisingly daunting.

However, within just a few months Bev has literally transformed the look of the home. She has decorated everywhere barring the kitchen. The bathroom has been re-fitted and Bev has undertaken all decoration and wallpapering herself. In addition, she has sanded and painted all cupboards and wardrobes to create a fresher and modern look. On a roll, Bev has now booked a week off from work to get the kitchen done!

“Within just a few months Bev has literally transformed the look of the home. She has decorated everywhere barring the kitchen.”

Solid foundations
Fortunately nothing major structurally has been necessary but given the age of the home Bev wanted to ensure the underside of the home was sound with the chassis in good condition. Bev asked Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) to survey under the home. The written report highlighted inadequate and rusted supports so PHCS stabilised the home with 16 new PHCS HD supports.

Previouslysupportsonolderhomeswere predominantly made of mild steel, a metal more susceptible to rust corrosion. The PHCS HD supports are hot dip galvanised with up to eight tonne loading verified by the NCC.

Bev said, ‘I found PHCS through a website and found them very helpful. They were very thorough and efficient and kept me informed all the way. I am very confident the home is properly supported and work was carried out to the highest standard.’

Bev had never gardened in her life; now she’s become an addict using every opportunity to fulfil her planting and design plans. She is enthusiastically transforming the outside space to ensure she can fully relax and appreciate it throughout the summer months.

More to be proud of
It’s not only the home that fills Bev with pride. Both her children are independent and driven. Bev’s daughter is now 24 and has just moved to Ireland with her partner. Although a wrench for Bev, she is thrilled to see Jennifer happily settled and content. It does mean some great trips over there for Bev too! Bev’s son, Harry, has just finished university and is now employed by 999 services. As he is based locally, Bev has more opportunity to see him. She is immensely proud of his voluntary work as a policeman and whilst at university he spent one day a week helping people with special needs and spent a self-financed month helping in Malawi.

Icing on the cake
At the time the family home was on the market, Bev decided to apply for a job as a carer at a care home for people suffering dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Bev used to work as a team leader in retail but became disillusioned and started cleaning work for an elderly couple. They enthralled Bev with their stories and were the catalyst for her inspiration to work with others. Once she was at the  interview at the care home, Bev’s enthusiasm, affection of people and sense of fun prompted them to offer her a different post as activities co-ordinator. It’s a job Bev adores and pinches herself that she gets paid for it too! Bev may entertain and occupy the residents with music, organised shows, arts and craft, quizzes or simply massaging their hands and manicuring nails.

‘Sometimes I feel I’m not doing enough but when you get cards from family members expressing their gratitude and of how their loved ones’ lives have been enriched it is hugely humbling and rewarding,’ says Bev. ‘I’m also learning so much about history. The tales and experiences I hear are really interesting – I’m becoming an expert on the finer details of rationing and war times!’

Pushing the boundaries

It’s amazing that under a year ago Bev was forced to sell the family home, find a new one for herself, move further afield in a new environment  and find new employment. For most, it would be an overwhelming and scary prospect. Bev readily admits she was well outside her comfort zone!

But Bev’s story is a perfect example that if you push the boundaries and take on the challenge, life can truly take a turn for the better. Bev loves her new life, home and job. It’s an inspiration for us all.