Glad to Care Jean Alfriston

Why we’re Glad to Care

In July we celebrated Glad to Care Awareness Week across our houses. An annual event, it celebrates the wonderful efforts of those working in the care industry, which feels especially significant this year.

While at Abbeyfield South Downs our houses are not care homes, that doesn’t mean we can’t care. For residents, and families looking for suitable housing for a loved one, joining a caring community is often essential. For this reason, we certainly are #gladtocare.

Abbeyfield is a charity which provides affordable, sociable housing for older people. Supported Living enables residents to maintain independence while providing support with meals, bills and maintenance. Our houses are designed to alleviate loneliness and isolation, by providing shared, sociable spaces and contact with others.

What caring looks like in our houses

To us, caring is getting to know our residents. We get to know you and your preferences, just like a family. This applies to meals and dietary requirements, as well as how you prefer to socialise. Some people like to take part in coffee mornings, exercise sessions and gardening, while others prefer not to. But in our houses, there is always someone to say, Good morning, how are you? Someone to pass the time of day and look out for you.

Essential for mental health, we provide emotional well-being and support, rather than physical care. So our friendly and caring teams are a key part of what makes an Abbeyfield community special.

Residents enjoying the Strawberry Tea at Abbeyfield House, Alfriston.

What makes our team Glad to Care

We asked some of our staff to share what makes them Glad to Care.

“It’s a great feeling when you can make someone feel safe, and make them smile when they feel all alone or isolated. Just to see the smile on their face will make anyone smile – and with what’s happening in the world today it makes all the difference.”

Christine Wood, House Manager, Beamsley House Eastbourne

“It is rewarding to see the residents enjoying each other’s company, smiling and laughing.”

Christine Klassen, Housekeeper Alfriston

“I like that at Abbeyfield that we provide a homely environment, which can enable our residents to maintain their independence and rediscover their zest for life.”

Anna Young, Senior House Manager Tunbridge Wells

“I love the ethos behind Abbeyfield – that the secret to a long and healthy life is quite simple – companionship and interaction, alongside good food and getting out and about.

I love it when I hear that people are flourishing in our houses and finding new routines. Hearing about a regular ‘coffee break’ that now happens every morning since we got a decent coffee machine installed. That brought me enormous joy as a coffee addict(!) and as someone who knows how priceless those opportunities to connect are.”

Jo Sorenson, Trustee Abbeyfield South Downs

Residents enjoying a socially distanced coffee morning at Cadogan House, Tunbridge Wells.