Couple 'win lottery' with new Bernicia home

“I don’t need to put the lottery on this weekend, I’ve already won it.”

Pat Bibby and her husband Paul were handed the keys to their brand new bungalow in Ellington, Northumberland, today – and they couldn’t be happier.

Our housing officer Donna Audsley was there to help them fill in the paperwork for their new home on Wayside Point – a development built by Ascent Homes for Bernicia on the site of the former Ellington Colliery.

Pat, 68, and Paul, 69, have just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary and have been living in Newbiggin. They were alerted to the rental bungalow by their daughter, perfect for Pat as she manages a health condition and for the couple as they can be near their grandchildren.

The couple spent much of their married life in Burnley. Paul was a power station worker in Lancashire and an ex-miner in Nottinghamshire, while Pat – originally from Morpeth – worked as a nurse.

Her job took them to the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides where she took up a senior position in the island’s six bed hospital before the call of their grandchildren brought them back to the mainland.

“I needed a bungalow because of my health and then Donna arrived – she’s my best friend in the world for doing this for us,” said Pat.

“I’ve been walking on clouds, just being in here today, we can’t believe it. It’s massive for both of us. For me, I’m going to be able to retain my independence for so much longer, I’ve been struggling with the stairs at our old house.”

Paul said: “We absolutely love it and our great grand daughter loves it which is the most important thing!”

Donna said: “The phone call I made to Pat and Paul to confirm they were next on the list for the bungalow was one of the best I’ve made in 14 years. There were happy tears and disbelief that it’s actually theirs.

“It really makes me proud to do what we do, to be able to give people a home which means so much for the future.”