Dr Tamsin Dunn, an Emergency Medicine Consultant, never anticipated that she would end up living in the North West.
In 2009, the now-42 year old was happily settled in central Oxford with her husband John and enjoying her career working in hospitals across the region. However when her husband was offered a rare post as a neurological consultant in Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, her life was to change – for the better.
Although she quickly found a position in University Hospital South Manchester (UHSM), she initially had misgivings about the move. “We were settled in Oxford and that was how I anticipated our lives continuing. At first I really wasn’t comfortable with the idea of moving up North, but felt we had little choice because of the job opportunity my husband had been offered,” she explained.
However, once Dr Dunn and her family had made the move to Hale, Greater Manchester, she quickly fell in love with the region and all it had to offer. She explained:
“One of the first things that struck us was the quality of the housing stock. Here we can afford to live in much larger house, and in a much better area. We also have two children, aged 5 and 8 and we’re impressed by the quality and choice available in terms of schools here too. The state offering is great and if we did want to explore private schooling, it is much more affordable here than it is in the South.
“The pace of life is different too. Commuting takes much less time and the roads are much less congested, especially when compared with Oxford’s one-way system. Getting from A to B is generally so much less stressful. And if you don’t want to take the car, the public transport here is great. You just need to hop on a tram and you’re in the city centre in no time.”
And Manchester as a city is one of the main things Dr Dunn and her family have fallen in love with. She continued: “We lived in Melbourne for several years prior to moving to Oxford and loved the lifestyle over there. But here, we feel like we’ve got the British version of Melbourne in terms of the buzz of the city and the arts, culture and music scene.
“There’s always something going on and unlike in Oxford or London, you can usually get tickets and they’ll be affordable too. Plus, if we don’t fancy city life, we know that we can be hop in the car and be in the countryside within 10 minutes. Manchester has some fantastic parks and open spaces, so you really have the best of both worlds.”
It seems like the clichés about the character of people ‘up North’ are true too. Dr Dunn says that the friendliness of people in Greater Manchester has made a real difference to her and her family’s quality of life, and despite knowing nobody when they moved here in 2009, she and her husband now have a great social circle.
Having lived in a wide range of cities throughout her lifetime, including London, Stafford and Essex, Dr Dunn really feels that Greater Manchester and the North offer her and her loved ones opportunities that they’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere: She concludes “When I compare ourselves to other people, I really feel like we have been the lucky ones. We have a really great life here.”
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