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“It's lovely not having to worry about paying the bills or doing any housework. I came here and it's all provided for me, I have not got to worry about getting to the shops - although I could go every morning (on the private coach) if I wanted to. The only thing I have to pay is my private telephone bill.”

Braintree Resident


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  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns

Imogen's design is a festive winner

AN Eastbourne student’s artistic imagination has won her a £500 lap-top and her school a £1,000 cash prize after she won a competition to design a Christmas card for The Hawthorns retirement development in the town.

Fifteen-year-old Imogen Orr attends Ratton School in Park Avenue, one of three local schools and colleges which accepted the challenge laid down by The Hawthorns in Carew Road.

All entries were judged by residents and Imogen’s design of a robin perched on a hawthorn bush narrowly beat off other entries to take the prize.

Angie Peach, Manager at The Hawthorns, said: “We wanted a Christmas card which reflected The Hawthorns and its residents in some shape or form. We thought it would be interesting to offer our younger generation the opportunity to design a card which would strike a chord with our residents. The quality of entrants was superb and it was a very close call to decide the winner but Imogen’s was a popular choice.”

A delighted Imogen said: “I enjoy art and thought the traditional robin on a hawthorn bush depicted Christmas and the retirement development. It’s the first prize I’ve won and I’m so pleased.”

Jane Sula, Curriculum Leader of Arts at Ratton School, added: “This is great for Imogen but also wonderful news for the school because I will be using the £1,000 prize to purchase a printing press for etching which is something I’ve wanted for the department for a long time but didn’t have the funds to acquire. I’m so grateful to The Hawthorns for running the competition which I think was a great idea for local students.”

The Hawthorns offers residents a unique retirement lifestyle where, for an all-inclusive monthly fee, they can enjoy life to the full complete with an extensive activity and excursion programme and all bills paid. Resident Mrs Jo Austin said: “We had a great time judging the students’ designs. They are clearly a very talented bunch but we loved Imogen’s robin design. I’m sure it will make for a beautiful Christmas card to send off to friends and family.”

The other schools/colleges taking part in the competition were The Causeway School and Eastbourne College.