News & Events

Ruth ‘came home’ to Leith Park

September 30, 2016

Ruth White Leith Park

Ruth White lived most of her early years in a boarding house room with her adoptive parents. As an adult she never owned her own home and after retiring from teaching she lived in a small rented flat in Glenroy. Moving to Leith Park almost four years ago was like coming home.

“It’s really the first time I have felt like I have my own home. It is big enough; I have a garden and live in a warm and friendly community. Moving in here has been like a new beginning for me,” Ruth said.

Ruth’s journey to Leith Park is as much about finding a family, as finding a new home. Her adoptive parents, turned out to be her natural grandparents. A decade ago, a brother who lived in nearby Briar Hill contacted her. As the two became close he suggested to Ruth that she consider moving to Leith Park at St Helena. Soon after she located another brother who lives in Watsonia. So the three siblings, who never knew one another as children, are now almost ‘neighbours’.

Ruth shakes her head at how life can take such a dramatic turn in a decade. But she’s not looking back, not for a minute.

“I was a teacher, I raised my four kids on my own, then I looked after my adoptive parents until they died, so I never really had time to make many social connections. Living in the tiny flat in Glenroy was very isolating because I didn’t go out much. Here there are people walking past, things to do with other people and a sense that someone is nearby,” Ruth said.

Since moving into her unit Ruth has discovered a lot about herself and the area. She has become a passionate gardener for the first time in her 73 years, looking after her front garden and developing a vegie garden in her small backyard where she grows tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and a selection of herbs. She loves the local habitat and the wallabies, birds and other native animals she sees and hears around the area.

While she enjoys the village outings, such as monthly movie nights at the Waverley Theatre, she has continued to play darts twice a week – a sport she has enjoyed for many years with her home club in Epping.

Ruth loves the ease of living at the Leith Park village where services and facilities are maintained regularly.

“When I lived at my flat in Glenroy if something like the heater broke, I would wait months for it to be fixed,” she said. “That doesn’t happen here.”

Her sense of safety is enhanced by the morning ‘check’ and mail delivery carried out by a staff member. Each morning she slides the sign on her front door to, “I Am Well”, assured that if she was unable to get out of bed to show the sign then someone would be in to check on her.

“It is such a great sense of safety and security knowing someone would find me if something happened. I recently had back surgery and one of the ladies who work here would come often to see if I was okay.  There’s a feeling about the place that people care about you. And we do, we help each other out.”

 

 

 

 

"I love the fact that Rushall Park residents and volunteers are so active – contributing to life in the village. The sense of the community is strong which is why I put my name on the waiting list" - Maggie Birkett.

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