The Abbeyfield Story
“If only we could have a house in every street to which everyone could be treated the same and share equally the kindness of the community around them.”
Richard Carr-Gomm, Founder of The Abbeyfield Society
From one man's vision to put an end to the loneliness and neglect of London's older citizens grew one of the UK's leading charities. The Abbeyfield Society has helped thousands of people across Britain and the world since its humble beginnings in the 1950s. The charity’s story is quite remarkable.
When Richard Carr-Gomm became Britain’s first male Home Help in 1956, he was shocked at the isolation and loneliness of some of the older people he visited. Deciding he wanted to do much more, he resigned from his commission in the Coldstream Guards and set about doing just that. He bought a small house in Bermondsey, South London and invited two local residents who had been living alone, to join him. The first Abbeyfield house was born.
Quickly, more people were invited to live in the house and like-minded volunteers became involved. Soon, all sorts of people started fundraising and donating money to assist, which allowed Richard and his team to continue their good work. Together they continued to improve the lives of older people who had been living without friendship or support. Within two years, there were 6 houses and 26 residents enjoying Richard's vision of better living in later life.
By the end of 1960, Richard had created eight new societies across London and fifteen outside of the capital. Through the groundbreaking efforts of Richard and his volunteers, The Abbeyfield Society continued to grow. Richard's original vision went on to become an international reality. Through the spirit of its founder, the charity continues to make the lives of older people easier and more fulfilling today. You can discover more about the Abbeyfield story here.