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‘Allo ‘Allo, a touch of Paris comes to Penkridge

Residents of a retirement living community in Penkridge have proved it is never too late to learn a new language, by graduating from a French language course.

Neighbours in Pencric have been taking part in lessons taught by visiting teacher Jane Handley, who says that language learning is the equivalent of a weekly workout for the mind.

The students celebrated the end of term with a cheese and wine tasting and the presentation of certificates.

Rosemary Rylance took part in the course: “I like a challenge and I wanted to try to improve my memory,” she says. “It is good to learn something new.”

In a community which includes a popular gym and regular fitness classes, fellow student Bill Powell describes the lessons as “Exercise for the brain.”

Les Clarke is director of care and support at Housing Plus Group, which owns the award-winning development. “Language learning helps to keep our minds active. Just as importantly, group classes help to relieve isolation and anyone who has dropped in to these lessons will have heard the laughter. It’s obvious that our residents have hugely enjoyed the experience and I’m incredibly impressed by how much they have learned.”

See for yourself: watch the residents try out their French conversation skills here