Our founding ethos and where we are today
The Abbeyfield Society started from humble beginnings, and the vision of one man. Today we care and support older people across the UK and beyond. Here’s our story and the story of the founding principles that we proudly uphold to this day.
The first Abbeyfield house was established in 1956 by Richard Carr-Gomm. He recognised that a lot of older people were living alone and feeling isolated in their own communities and 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 local residents to move in, he had purchased five more properties and formally set up The Abbeyfield Society. Before long, volunteers around the county 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 we have developed wonderful facilities that include over 500 houses and homes with committed staff and 4,000+ volunteers in the UK. Worldwide there are now around 9,000 residents living in 850 houses and homes and this number is set to increase over the coming years.
We at Stanhope joined the Abbeyfield family in 1968 and have not looked back. We are proud to be part of the growing organisation that has fostered hope for older people who feel the need to get away from the sometimes isolated life in their own home to a supported but still independant life in a house like Stanhope.
Today we’re living in a very different world but the need remains for the same level of commitment to older people and that commitment is at the heart of everything we do.
Over time, we have gained friends and supporters from all walks of life, many of whom have discovered Abbeyfield because somebody they know has lived with us.