Skip to main content

Community Manager Donna talks about lifestyle community living

January 29, 2018

“Community living has a special feel to it. You have many opportunities to keep active and to try something new – perhaps join a pottery class, learn a new skill or get fitter.

The great part about my role as a community manager is seeing how much fun our home owners are having and seeing new friendships forming. Many have spent most of their lives working hard and now have the time to relax, go on holidays with new friends, and have the life they’ve dreamed of.  Halcyon certainly delivers that and more.
I can’t wait to live here myself.”

What are the first few months like at Halcyon?

It’s always daunting moving into a community where there are a lot of homeowners who have already forged relationships. Luckily though, homeowners in your street know exactly how you feel because they are generally just as new to community living, so friendships form very quickly with neighbours who support each other.

I want to be a good neighbour, so how do I know the dos and don’ts of living here?

Even before you move in, there are plenty of discussions around visitors, use of the Rec Club, pets etc, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to ask lots of questions. We also have a great little booklet called ‘Community Living Guidelines’ that you receive when you put a reservation on a home.

I’ve moved in, how do I join in?

You’ll get a list of interest groups and contact details, and you’ll be trained on the homeowner website, so you can see what is going on each day. The good part is that you take it at your own pace.  There’s no pressure to do anything that you don’t want to do.  And some homeowners have all their own interests outside of the community. Everyone takes things at their own pace, reflecting Halcyon’s motto - ‘take it on or take it easy’.

How can I find out what’s going on?

The homeowner website has a live calendar of events and lots of information about what’s on.  Every week I put out an email letting everyone know what is happening in the community; what new interest groups are starting and what special events are coming up. With 38 interest groups at Halcyon Lakeside, the biggest complaint from homeowners is that they don’t have enough time in their day to do everything!

How do you meet people?

I always tell new arrivals to allow at least an hour or two to get to the letterbox for their mail because they meet so many homeowners on the way who want to chat and introduce themselves. Our Happy Hours are always a great way to meet everyone, and of course, you can join an interest group and share your passion with others.  We also have street parties just so that newcomers can meet their close neighbours.

Is there any sort of ‘buddy system’ for newbies?

Yes.  Whether you are shy, new to the region or flying solo, we provide buddies for all new homeowners coming into our communities. They are usually homeowners who have been in here for a while and ‘know the ropes’. They can accompany you to your first happy hour to make walking into a crowd of unknown faces a little easier. We’ve had many buddies become close friends with their homeowners.

How do you encourage homeowners to use the leisure facilities?

I always tell new homeowners ‘it’s not a race’. It can take a while just to settle into your new home so don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything at once.  We take it at your pace.  I meet with homeowners after they move in to see how they are and if they have started any activities within the community.  You might want to start in the gym, and we provide a half-hour free session with our gym instructor as an introduction.  It could be joining a craft group or just joining in with a quiz night.