Is this the hippest retirement scheme in the country?

May 06 2016 | Articles | News
L R Elaine Ged And Jim In The Garden At Victoria Square

It may be known as Victoria Square, but the residents of the Northern Quarter's funkiest digs are anything but square themselves.

The Northern Quarter has long been known as one of Manchester’s trendiest areas.

And now it has a new badge of honour – it also boasts one of the hippest retirement schemes in the country.

Residents at Victoria Square in Ancoats include a sports commentator, an artist and experts in mindfulness and yoga.

These residents are stars of our 'Retired Not Expired' campaign, which we've launched to help reduce loneliness amongst older people.

'Retired Not Expired'

Through ‘Retired not Expired’, we want to show off some of our amazing and inspiring older tenants who know that age is just a number.

For instance, at 86, artist Jim Giles is showing no signs of hanging up his paintbrush. He's currently working on several ambitious projects inspired by his home; Victoria Square is a 19th Century masterpiece, built to house workers at the mills in Ancoats.

Jim said: “I’m having a love affair with this building. Creatively, my time here has been the most productive of my life.”

Jim is a member of Out in The City, a support group for older LGBT people. He also runs a weekly knitting club.

Ged Reek, 63, commentates at local car racing events at Leewood Motor Club in Ashley, Cheshire. He moved into Victoria Square three years ago, when his wife moved into a care home.

He said: “It was strange for me at first, moving to the city. Everything felt so big.

“I felt like my life was starting to disappear and I needed to find a new one. I feel happier now I’ve settled in, it’s a very friendly place to live.”

Elaine Horne is a meditation and mindfulness expert. She makes an annual trip to Mount Abu in Rajahsthan, visiting ashrams on meditation retreats.

The 73-year-old said: “It brings out the goodness in me. It reminds me what’s important. Life’s not about the things you have, but how you make people feel.”

Come together

We’re working on a series of activities to bring older people together to get to know each other and learn new skills.

Want to know more or get involved? Email

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