Photo project celebrates older residents

After three months of lockdown and fears over Covid-19, it can be hard to find something to smile about – but a talented young photographer still captured high spirits at our Cheviot Gardens extra care scheme.

Leela West, 14, joined photographers across the country to take pictures of people at their front door as part of The Lockdown Doorstep Project and visited the scheme, in West Norwood, last month.

The multi-generational project celebrates the amazing residents and staff who live and work at Cheviot Gardens and will culminate in an art show at the scheme, where the work will stay in situ to remember the pandemic and the huge impact it has had on our lives.


All care services are being provided Covid-19 testing to reduce the risks of breakouts and the project coincided with testing day, so the team posed in full PPE to show what goes into keeping our residents safe.

Extra care schemes, also known as retirement living, has been hugely successful in preventing the spread of the virus as everyone lives in their own self-contained apartment. This gives them the chance to shield or self-isolate in their own home, while also having access to 24-hour on-site care and support if needed.

Mary Xtian, service manager at Cheviot Gardens, said: “Many of our residents took part and put a lot of thought into how they wanted to represent themselves. They refused to be defeated by the pandemic and really enjoyed getting involved in the project to capture the time we are living through.

“Members of the care team and the chefs were also invited to be photographed as they are such an integral part of life at Cheviot Gardens. We are all looking forward to the art show as a celebration of the tight-knit community we have here. This has shown us we can get through anything.”

Find out more about our extra care housing.


  • Leela is a year nine student from Sydenham School. She has just been accepted to the BRIT School to study film from September. She has always been passionate about film-making, taking photographs and fine art. She hopes to be a director in future and plans to move to Los Angeles to realise her dreams.