Abbeyfield is a national older peoples charity providing housing and residential care in their homes across the UK and internationally. As part of their founding values and charitable aims they continue to champion the needs of and provide support to older people.
It’s Abbeyfield’s mission to enhance the quality of life for older people. They oﬀer a wide range of services for the elderly from independent or supported living, through to residential and dementia care. They aim to provide a service which oﬀers a home for life integrated in a local community with high quality accommodation and a stimulating environment to maintain a socially active community that will directly benefit the mind, body and soul.
Abbeyfield believes in making time for older people. That means engagement with residents, whether that is making the time to have a chat or to listen without worry of time pressure. Abbeyfield can oﬀer this to their residents due to the charitable nature of the organisation. They have thousands of volunteers across their homes that work in conjunction with staﬀ to allow them to provide that little bit extra. Their homes also interact with their local community to enhance the lives of residents through activities and interactions aimed to be enjoyed by residents and oﬀer mutual benefit to people local to Abbeyfield.
The first Abbeyfield house was established in 1956 by Richard Carr-Gomm, pictured here. He recognised that a lot of older people were living alone and felt isolated in their communities. He wanted to provide them with a safe and secure home where they could find friendship and support.
Soon after purchasing a house in Bermondsey and inviting two residents to move in, he had purchased five more properties and formally set up The Abbeyfield Society. Before long, volunteers around the country had formed their own societies and the dream of a nationwide charity providing high-quality housing, support and companionship in later life had become a reality. From those humble beginnings, Abbeyfield have developed facilities that include over 500 homes with committed staﬀ and over 4,000 volunteers in the UK.
Abbeyfield is a membership organisation, with The Abbeyfield Society being its largest society and the one managing the direction of the charity. The combination of the properties managed by The Abbeyfield Society, its other UK societies and the International Member Societies are collectively known as the Abbeyfield movement.
The movement has homes across the UK and in six other countries worldwide, (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Jersey, South Africa and New Zealand) giving us the ability to operate genuinely local services but with a national and international reach of over 800 homes.
Abbeyfields, wherever they are, aim to put something back into their communities. Their staﬀ and volunteers nurture localism and this coupled with wide-ranging skills and expertise from a range of industries and professions allows them to provide the best service to their residents, and makes their houses community hubs.
“I came to Orchard Close from Devon – aged 87, having lived alone for over 10 years. Being relieved of daily chores and the responsibility of maintaining a house and garden far bigger than I needed, and having company, makes for luxury living!” Bobbie Primmer