• Francis's Story
  • Hansel's View

Age – it’s more than just a number: supporting changing needs

I came to live in Farmers House in Hansel in 1987. I stayed in Farmers House until 2000 then I moved into Crail House when it was first built.

For a number of years I really enjoyed living in Crail where I had lots of friends and we enjoyed a lot of banter, sing-songs and outings. However, over the past few years, lots of my friends had become older and not so well and I wasn't happy there anymore....

Then I was asked if I'd like to move into Wilson House and I jumped at the chance! We had a meeting with my Social Worker, Christine from Glasgow, and some of my staff in Crail, to talk about it and decide how soon I could move in.

Now I have a lot more people who I can talk to and have fun with again! I have a great big room in Wilson and I can look out into the front street and see people and cars passing by. I can still keep in touch with all my old friends and my old staff team and I visit them often.

My girlfriend, Betty, and I have been engaged since the Govan Fayre and she comes to see me every Saturday. I’m still deciding whether we should marry or not!

I would say I've had a good life since coming to Hansel... I've made lots of friends and I feel it doesn't matter what age I am - I have a lot of living to do yet!


Crail House has evolved over time, shaped by the choices, needs and lifestyles of the people who live there. It began as an annex to another residential service, providing a more peaceful environment, a more appropriate service, for people who were becoming older.

Over time we developed the knowledge, expertise and partnerships needed to meet the changing needs of Crail’s residents. Crail became a specialist service for older people with learning disabilities and a new wing was added, designed specifically to create an environment to care for people living with dementia - a unique resource within Ayrshire.

At the same time the residents of Wilson House, another small group living service at Broadmeadows, were also getting a little older and their needs, both social and health, were changing too. In recognition of this, a joint Care Inspectorate registration was secured, allowing the expertise of both staff teams to be shared between Crail and Wilson Houses to offer a more flexible, personalised service.

Francis was one of the original Crail residents, moving there when he was 64 and ready to slow down a little. However, Francis only ever wanted to slow down a little and he has remained very active and young at heart. As his friends in Crail House grew increasingly frail, Francis began to feel out of place there and spent more time with people from Wilson House.

When a place became available in Wilson, Francis chose to move. He wanted to live alongside friends who could keep up with him without having to leave Broadmeadows and all his other friends there. Glasgow, Francis's 'home' funders, were very helpful in enabling Francis's move, recognising the benefits for him and respecting his choice to join with others who share his active lifestyle and interests.

50 Years

50 Years