Richard Carr-Gomm served in The Royal Berkshire Regiment and Coldstream Guards for 16 years before resigning and volunteering as Britain’s first male home help. In his work, he found that the needs of people he was looking after were not material, but that they were often lonely.
Often the only person to visit them, he wanted to provide them with support and
security. Using part of his Army gratuity, he bought his first house in 1955, located in Bermondsey, East London and invited his first residents from the local community, Miss Saunders and Mr Halnan, to live with him.
Thanks to the positive response from the first house, he used the rest of his gratuity money to buy a second house and as word spread and Richard began to receive donations from the public, he bought more houses and formally set up The Abbeyfield Society in 1956.
By 1963, The Abbeyfield Society had over 100 homes across the UK with societies in eight London boroughs and 15 other cities throughout the country.
How Richard’s legacy lives on
Today The Abbeyfield Society has over 400 houses in seven countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Jersey, South Africa and New Zealand, providing a supportive community to over 7,500 residents. From Richard’s kindness, generosity and goodwill, he has helped to change the lives of thousands of people.
Independent Living is designed for active, self-reliant individuals. It allows you to live completely self-sufficient with communal hubs to socialise and connect with your neighbours. At Abbeyfield we have a great selection of Independent Living apartments for older people across the UK.
These fully accessible homes have been designed taking into account your current and future needs. Choose from our modern one, two or three bed retirement apartments, all with secure entry, their own front door, fully fitted kitchen and wet room bathroom – as well as an on-call system for added peace of mind.
Apartments are available through a mix of options, whether you are looking to buy (for individual or shared ownership), rent or lease.
How you furnish your apartment is up to you, so you’re free to put your own stamp on it. Most of our developments also welcome pets, making it a real home for all your loved ones.
Living together as part of a community is what makes Abbeyfield special. You can enjoy the shared communal areas such as the gardens, dining room, lounges and reception areas. There are often activities and events arranged by the residents and staff to choose from to make the most of your retirement.
A monthly service charge will cover the cost of maintenance of your apartment and the shared community areas. The only other additional costs are for utilities (water, electricity, internet) and council tax, plus any additional Extra Care services.