Time capsule to mark opening of new development for older people in Heathfield

13th April

This week, Abbeyfield South Downs is launching a time capsule initiative to celebrate the opening of its affordable rental development Holdenhurst – and is inviting the local Heathfield community to get involved.

Interior shot of an apartment at Holdenhurst, Abbeyfield South Downs latest development of affordable apartments in Heathfield

The time capsule will be buried under a Monkey Puzzle tree on the Holdenhurst site on Mill Road in May. It will include items that help tell the story of the area past and present, as well as objects that represent what it is like to live in modern Britain today.

Abbeyfield South Downs, a registered charity that specialises in offering housing for older people in the local community, will be inviting schools in the area, community groups, businesses and residents of the town to contribute content and ideas, including photography of Heathfield through the ages; drawings from school children to illustrate what living in Heathfield means to them; as well as film footage of local residents talking about what life is like in Heathfield today. The capsule will also include current British currency, stamps, tinned produce, a disused iPhone and front pages of national and local papers available to buy on the day. A soil sample taken from the grounds of Holdenhurst in an airtight vial, to celebrate the building’s opening, will also be put in.

Nolan Taylor, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield South Downs, commented: “We are extremely excited to launch the time capsule initiative and look forward to working with the Heathfield community to ensure its contents are truly representative of what it is like and has been like, to live in this thriving market town. After the year everyone has had, we hope it will be a fun and positive focus to bring the community together even more. Local people will play an important role at Holdenhurst and we thought there no better way to commemorate this by organising a time capsule. In its previous incarnation, Holdenhurst regularly hosted the local Age UK group lunches and we hope the new building will be similarly used by local community groups.”

The Holdenhurst development comprises 48 affordable rental apartments, offering enhanced sheltered housing in a care-enabled environment to anyone over 60.

Holdenhurst has been designed to attract tenants who want to live in a vibrant and like-minded community where active, independent living is at its heart, but with the option of additional services if required, now or in the future. A restaurant, café and bar, hairdressing salon and a wellbeing suite for exercise, activities and crafts will also be on site for tenants to use, as well as accessible spaces for local groups to have a place to meet.

The capsule will be buried on the site on Friday 21 May. It will be marked by a plaque and dug up 50 years later.

Holdenhurst will be hosting a celebration for its tenants and the local Heathfield community later on in the summer.

To get involved with the time capsule, please contact Sarah Jones on sarah@wildernesspr.co.uk.

To register interest in an apartment, please visit https://holdenhurst.org/

About the Abbeyfield South Downs Society

Abbeyfield South Downs Society is a registered charity and a registered provider of Social Housing. It is a not-for-profit organisation, focussed on supporting older people in need in our local communities. It has seven supported living houses for older people, located in Alfriston, Eastbourne (two houses), Heathfield, Hove, St Leonards-on-Sea and Tunbridge Wells.

Abbeyfield South Downs came into existence in 2011 and was a merger of the then Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Sussex Weald Abbeyfield Societies. An integral part of the process was the support of the national Abbeyfield Society, which included the donation of their only East Sussex property in St Leonards-on-Sea. In 2016, the Abbeyfield Tunbridge Wells Society joined and then in 2017, the Alfriston and District Society passed their house to the Abbeyfield South Downs Society.

The Abbeyfield Society was founded by Richard Carr-Gomm in 1956 to alleviate loneliness among older people who were living unsupported and with little contact with others. Today, there are hundreds of Abbeyfield properties nationwide, some managed centrally by the National Society, but most are managed by individual independent Abbeyfield member societies.

Abbeyfield houses maintain a fundamental purpose which reflects Richard Carr-Gomm’s original approach. Services are designed to alleviate loneliness, by providing contact with others in a partly shared environment.

Abbeyfield tenants enjoy their preferred mix of independence and company, with home-cooked meals provided each day. Abbeyfield’s mission is all about making life a little easier for tenants. We want Abbeyfield tenants to live as independently as they wish knowing they are safe, secure and that support is available, whether needed now or in the future.

For more information visit: https://abbsd.co.uk