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THINKING OF MOVING OVER TO YOU

housing

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#1 delta245

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 07:53 PM

MY WIFE AND I ARE THINKING OF RETIRING TO SHETLAND IM DISABLED IN WHEELCHAIR LOOKING FOR PROPERTY TO RENT MY RENT GETS PAID BY HOUSING NOWDAYS AS IM UNABLE TO WORK LOOKING AT WORKING FROM HOME WE HAVE TWO CONCERNS IM WHITE MY WIFES BLACK AND SHE IS WORRIED ABOUT RACISM AS WE HAVE SUFFERED IT IN THE PAST HATE TO ASK THIS BUT IS IT SOMETHING WE WOULD GET ? AND TWO FINDING RIGHT HOUSE THATS WHEELCHAIR FREINDLY AND ALLOWS SMOKING I CAN HELP WITH PEOPLES COMPUTER PROBLEMS FOR NOTHING AS I DO IT FOR SOMETHING TO DO AS LONG AS ITS NOT TOTALLY CRASHED THATS FOR THE SHOP I WAS WORKING AS BENEFITS/MONEY ADVISOR AS WELL I CAN HELP OUT WITH THAT FOR PEOPLE  JUST WANT A NEW LIFE THATS ON COAST WITH GOOD PEOPLE 



#2 Ghostrider

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 01:43 AM

Not to rain (pun intended) on your parade, but in the interests of being realistic........... Have you ever been to Shetland, Have you ever been to Shetland in winter? Perhaps you should make a visit or two, as I'd estimate circa 50% of folk who move here find the reality of living here is nothing on earth like they imagined before the fact......and bluntly, of the people I can think of who have retired here either on age or disability grounds, only a very small number live happily ever after, the majority, for one reason or another move back to somewhere on the mainland after a few years.

 

On your main points, and perhaps as a caucasian I'm not qualified to comment, but.... In my experience, you're never going to find anywhere that is racism free, but Shetland is probably as tolerant as you're likely to find. There are quite a few folk of other races here now, and generally speaking everyone seems to get on okay.....note I say 'seems', as they themselves might say different, as I can only comment from the other side looking in. Thats not to say though that if you end up with the 'wrong' neighbours or cross paths with the 'wrong' individual who won't encounter racism of some degree.

 

Shetland is not particularly wheelchair friendly, and our climate is definitely anything but wheelchair friendly outwith the May-September period. There is very liittle flat(tish) ground, even in the more urban areas, so for the most part you're either pushing yourself uphill, or holding back stopping yourself taking off down one. Have a look on Google Earth Streeview and just cruise around a few random roads and streets...... Weather, Sept - March is largely relentless wind and rain day after day, its nice and calm and dry here today for just about the first time since the beginning of October, but only because everything is frozen solid..... If you're reliant on your chair to get out and about, you're going to be largely housebound 8-9 months of the year, as if you're not being soaked by lashing horiziontal rain, you'll be battling gusts that make your chair largely uncontrollable, or sliding around on ice - At best you could probably expect on average 2 or 3 days per month in winter pleasant enough that you could just go out and enjoy being there.

 

Housing is hit and miss, private rents, especially in urban areas are very high, as high that you might find the DWP baulk at paying it.......and there's high demand for social housing in urban areas as well. Finding someplace wheelchair friendly is very hit and miss, most rentals are older properties and unsuitable. In the private rental market it would be very much a matter of luck if a newer property or recently refurbed one came up at the right time, so social housing would probably be a better bet. Although how quickly you could expect to get something is anyone's guess, given the demand.

 

If you were willing to accept a social rental property anywhere in Shetland, chances are you might get something almost right away, but you'd almost certainly end up either miles from anywhere in the middle of the hills or on one of the smaller islands. If you hit it off with your neighbours in the rest of the estate and had access to a car to do your shopping, often miles away, or on another island entirely, you could probably get on okay if that was the kind of life you liked, but otherwise you'd be living in virtual solitary confinement unless for your wife, and reliant on finding some way of having your groceries etc delivered.

 

Urban areas have the heaviest concentrations of social housing, so by consequence the most disabled friendly housing, its also generally within easy access of most basic amenities so transport isn't such an important factor, so would possibly be an all round preferable option for you. However there already exists a certain level of resentment given the pressures that urban housing supply is under that "incomers are taking houses locals should be getting", and you might well find yourselves on the receiving end of some of that attitude were you to be able to secure an urban property.

 

Take a look at this YouTube video, this is a reasonable representation of an average winter day in, for the most part, an urban area in Shetland, it gets much worse out in some areas of the countryside. If you can look at this and then run a search on YouTube for similar ones, watch them too, and still say quite happily 'I'd be happy living in that most days Sept - May", then you might just like it here. If not......perhaps think about someplace like Orkney, with most of the same 'benefits' as Shetland, but weather that rarely reaches the same extremes, or someplace rural on mainland Scotland etc.

 


Edited by Ghostrider, 30 December 2017 - 01:51 AM.

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#3 Mr.Brown

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 03:35 AM

Hi delta, ghostrider does make some very valid points about Shetland life so please do give them very thorough consideration for your own (& of course your wife's) sake. If at all possible do try to visit here first. I haven't seen much of Orkney but I believe it is a great deal flatter than Shetland & so more wheelchair friendly I would expect. It probably sounds like we are trying to put you off or foist you on to Orkney but truly we are just being realistic. As for the racism issue, there have been one or two incidents in recent years which have ended up in court. The Sheriff has taken a very dim view of the accused as I recall & I believe most people here would too. However I personally have noticed some still have words like "darky" in their vocabulary, not said with aggression or intentional nastiness but because it was ingrained in their upbringing by a less enlightened older generation. I have also witnessed one such person being extremely embarrassed when they realised they had said this in the company of someone of colour (Asian decent I believe). Huge apologies were made, which kind of increased the embarrassment for a while (for us watching anyway!) but all ended well & they carried on drinking together! By the way if you are in local authority accommodation at the moment then I think that it is still possible to transfer or swap to another across the UK. Good luck & happy new year.
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#4 Scorrie

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:13 AM

I agree with everything that GR and Mr Brown have posted, this can be a fantastic place to live if you are independent . Any restriction in personal mobility can be a major challenge outwith Lerwick.

 

If you decide that Shetland is not for you, then I would add the far north of Scotland (Caithness - not Sutherland) to GR's suggestion of Orkney: two towns (Wick and Thurso) with the same laid back feel of Lerwick, low crime rates, more social housing in the villages and towns, better wheelchair accessability and transport links including a train to Inverness, better shopping and friendly people. We lived north of Wick for a few good years and loved it.

 

Whatever your choice is, I sincerely hope it pans out well for you and yours.


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#5 Frances144

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 10:03 AM

As someone who was in a wheelchair for a while, all I can say is that there are probably only three shops your wife can easily get into - one or two Banks, the PO and possibly Boots - but you can't turn round in there or swing a cat. Oh, and maybe the Red Cross.

 

The rest?  Just park her outside.  The old-fashioned doors are impossible.  Most kids in their pushchairs will be left there too.  Any slopes to shops are terrifying.  Don't let go if you are the pusher as your wife will be in the sea pronto!

 

Rascism - lots of looks but probably no comments.

 

Tbh, I was appalled at the way I was treated when I was living in my wheelchair.  It was miserable.  Lerwick was nigh-on impossible to negotiate.  I gave up and stayed at home.
 

Do you have your own transport btw?



#6 Greg Martin

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:55 PM

Shetland is grand. There is bad weather of course in winter. Though being brought up in the North of England, I didn't find the rain a concern, and the snow is not too bad in winter which is a bonus (in comparison to the Pennines anyway!). Though the wind is another story, it starts around October and will eases off around the end of May ha ha ha, okay maybe not that bad.  I actually like the stormy winters. It was always amusing marching with the Brass Band, taking two steps forward and eight backwards. I wanted my Dad to come, he was from Dundee and served in the Navy 25 years, but wouldn't journey to Shetland after experiencing a bad winter on ship in the Shetlands in the 1950s, despite his altzemers, still remembered his Shetland winter!

 

As it's pointed out, there is social housing, but only on the further Isles. You'd probably get somewhere on Unst, Whalsay etc, or in the far north of the Mainland . But you'd be pushed to get something around the main towns without renting privately and that costs a packet. Health care can be problematic if you need any serious health care. My wife had a heart attack recently and we had to wait five days before she could get a bed in Aberdeen. Though I should add, that the hard-working folk at the Gilbert Bain are a real treasure, and thankful to have them. But serious problems, or mental health issues are not really catered for so it does need a peerie bit of travelling.

 

Wheelchair access to the main places is not too bad; pictures, museum, boots and so on. But for general walking around Lerwick it's pretty dire and many folk will park on the paths in some places. Also, there are some pretty steep areas in the town.

 

On racism. I've a mind to say that any racism is more an "imported thing" to Shetland, more than naturally held by Shetland folk who I always find to be friendly. But remember, there are also many Scots, English, Polish, Russian etc etc here, so you're always going to get imported ideas and opinions good and bad! It must happen I guess, but it's less than most places, because anything you do people will hear about! In fact, if you're on one of the Islands, they will probably know what you're planning for tea :-)  ha ha


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#7 Boz

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 06:43 PM

 

Take a look at this YouTube video, this is a reasonable representation of an average winter day in, for the most part, an urban area in Shetland, it gets much worse out in some areas of the countryside. If you can look at this and then run a search on YouTube for similar ones, watch them too, and still say quite happily 'I'd be happy living in that most days Sept - May", then you might just like it here. If not......perhaps think about someplace like Orkney, with most of the same 'benefits' as Shetland, but weather that rarely reaches the same extremes, or someplace rural on mainland Scotland etc.

 

 

Gosh! Had to comment when I saw the video that Ghostrider shared. That was taken over 11 years ago by my husband on our first ever visit to Shetland :mrgreen:  - what a blast from the past! We've been living here for over 8 years now. Proof if it was needed that while the weather certainly isn't for everyone, it also doesn't put everybody off.  I can't comment on how easy it would be for you guys to live up here (not many of the buildings are wheelchair accessible as they're all pretty old & pre-accessibility planning law), or whether you would experience racism - generally I have found Shetland to be a very welcoming friendly place to be, but there are idiots here, just as everywhere else, and it's not a hugely ethnically diverse community.  I hope whatever decision you make you end up somewhere that works for you guys.


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