We spoke to Maurice Hackling (84), whose journey with us began when he became an Experience Day customer, before joining our community as a resident of Britannia Household at Belong Crewe, where he enjoys an active role in village life.
Maurice was born in Norfolk in 1934 and he moved to Crewe, aged six, when his father, Walter, got a job at the Rolls-Royce factory in the centre of the town. He has lived there ever since, with the exception of the two years he undertook his military service in the Royal Navy, travelling as far as the West Indies on- board the HMS Vidal.
After leaving school, Maurice followed in his father’s footsteps and undertook an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce, training to maintain tools used to build engines for military aircraft. This was the beginning of a career that would last until his retirement in his 60s.
“A lot changed in my time at Rolls-Royce,” said Maurice. Adding: “They went back to making luxury motors cars rather than spitfire engines and then started making jet engines. The company was nationalised while I was there too.”
Maurice’s journey with Belong started in 2015 when he became an Experience Day customer, visiting the Crewe village at least once a week to take part in arts and crafts sessions and dancing classes.
After a brief period in hospital earlier this year, and with Maurice’s wife Sybil (also 84) unable to provide for his increasing care requirements, Maurice decided to move into Belong Crewe as a household resident, so he had access to 24- hour care.
“Having been an Experience Day customer for some time, when it came to moving in, I already felt at home. Everyone here is very friendly, and you feel part of a community.”
Maurice continues to take part in all the activities he enjoyed as an Experience Day customer and more. He still enjoys the arts and crafts and dancing sessions and likes to keep fit by taking part in exercise classes led by the village’s fitness instructor, Zoe. A lifelong gardener, he also helps tend to the dementia garden. And, since his arrival, he’s become a keen cards and bingo player too.
The village’s bistro provides a regular venue for Maurice, Sybil and their three daughters to spend some quality time together. They also go on trips often too, including a recent walk in Cheshire’s Peckforton Hills.
Maurice says he’s enjoying village life to the full and, given his experience with Belong, says it feels like a second home.
“I’m very happy here,” said Maurice. “The care they provide is excellent too.”