A RETIREMENT community that hopes to retain 'a sense of independence and camaraderie' among veterans has opened.

Chevrons Living in Fordingbridge welcomed prospective residents and the wider community to view its living quarters and grounds at its official launch event on Saturday, October 21.

The community, which offers 10 studio flats, has been built and designed for military veterans and ex-emergency services staff.

Guests were welcomed with a drinks reception and The Gershwin Gang that played swing and jazz from the 40s and 50s.

The Railway Hotel and North Gorley’s thatched 17th-century New Forest pub, the Royal Oak, also supported the day by doing the catering.

They also supplied prizes for a military-themed quiz that ran throughout the event alongside the Gourmet Grocer which provided a luxury hamper.

Bournemouth Echo: Civic leaders joined Chevrons' CEO Barry Robbins and manager Tony Harvey.Civic leaders joined Chevrons' CEO Barry Robbins and manager Tony Harvey. (Image: Chevrons Living)

There was also a flag-raising ceremony, 'Fordingbridge in Wartime' museum talk and a poppy wreath workshop where all donations went to the Royal British Legion.

Mayor of Fordingbridge, councillor Peter White, cut the ribbon and said: “Chevrons is an incredibly high-quality facility for active seniors.

"The rooms are beautifully designed and the whole set-up has a great atmosphere. The ability to be able to live independently within a community environment is really special and the Elizabeth Bar must be seen to be believed.

“I’m not there yet but would definitely consider it for my later years. I think anyone living here would be extremely happy."

Chevrons CEO Barry Robbins said the new home is "a true community-focused venture".

"It is a place where people can come and enjoy our beautiful town while retaining a sense of independence and camaraderie that they may have lost over the years," he added.

Bournemouth Echo: Barry Robbins gave an opening speech.Barry Robbins gave an opening speech. (Image: Chevrons Living)

Each studio flat at Chevrons Living has a double bed, an en-suite bathroom and some have separate living areas.

Residents also have access to a community ‘hub’ room, with local information and computer access as well as a dining area with an in-house chef. 

Outside, there are landscaped community gardens with a barbecue, patio area and the Elizabeth Bar.

This will offer residents a chance to socialise within the community, enjoy entertainment, and participate in activities organised by the newly formed Escape Committee, including visits to local attractions and nearby historical sites.