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How our residents are enjoying an active retirement during the Covid-19 pandemic

Although we have now entered into our second lockdown in England due to Covid-19, our residents at Scalesceugh Villas continue to keep themselves busy with a number of activities and hobbies as they have done so throughout the pandemic.

Having a hobby is a valuable part of life, but as we age, it becomes a fundamental part of daily living. Hobbies not only fill gaps in time that may have previously been spent on work or doing other tasks, they also offer many health-related benefits. They can ease pain and joint issues, as well as helping us socialise and connect. They help us improve our overall physical and mental health by making us feel good about ourselves.

We have spoken with a couple of our residents to find out the ways they have filled their time during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they continue to enjoy an active lifestyle in their retirement.


One of our residents, Shirley, continues to fill a lot of her time creating a multitude of arts and crafts. The mezzanine area within her villa has created the perfect space for an art studio area. From here, Shirley spends time making jewellery, working with textiles, drawing and painting. She explains:

“I use my first floor landing space for painting as the natural light here is best. I have worked in oils, watercolour and coloured pencil; with my preference being the latter. I am self-taught, but have done short courses or workshops with several different artists and completed an on line course with the London School of Art a couple of years ago. I need the motivation of learning to keep improving my technique.”

Shirley's art studio space
One of Shirley's beaded embroidery artworks
Shirley's handmade jewellery

“I also enjoy growing things, bird watching, reading, listening to music, and taking short courses on anything that interests me at the time.”

As well as enjoying her own creative hobbies within her home, Shirley tells us how she and her fellow residents at Scalesceugh have continued to thrive as a community and socialise with one another safely during the pandemic:

“Of course I have missed my frequent getaways, meals out with friends, entertaining, browsing around shops and so on - as we all have done - but here at Scalesceugh I have probably taken more time in getting to know my near neighbours. We have used the summer to meet in the garden or car park; and have enjoyed sharing a bottle or three to welcome new residents, celebrate VE Day and the odd birthday.”

“Our vegetable patch became very popular and my cauliflowers, courgettes and runner beans were enjoyed by some of my fellow residents. In return, I was given apples, plums and blackcurrants which will continue to be enjoyed during the winter. I also like to keep my balcony colourful and welcoming.”

Our communal vegetable patch

“Like everyone else, I look forward to the time when we get on top of the pandemic and groups can start up again, when I can enjoy the stimulation of other artists, attend workshops, share interests and participate in the wider community.”


Another of our residents, Geoff, enjoys frequent walks around our estate and nearby Wreay woods with his dog, Mungo. He has previously written a number of books, but is now focusing his time to his latest project – capturing the changing landscape of Scalesceugh and our surrounding area throughout the seasons. Geoff has shared some of his photography with us, which shows the beautiful changing colours of the various plants and flowers over the past few months:

February 2020: Mungo exploring the snow whilst out on a walk with Geoff at Beacon Hill, Penrith

April 2020: Tulips blooming in Geoff's drive

May 2020: White Ash in flower in a nearby field

July 2020: Orchid at nearby River Petteril

Like our residents, particularly in recent times of the Covid-19 pandemic, many retirees may be looking to try out new hobbies or activities to fill their time. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not browse our Ultimate Retirement Hobbies List which contains suggestions of activities for people of all different physical and mental abilities.


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