Abbeyfield Blackmore Vale Society
The Abbeyfield Blackmore Vale Society is an independent voluntary organisation. It was formed in 1976 to provide accommodation for eight active retired people who did not want to live on their own, but preferred to maintain their independence by living in a small community with some basic services provided.
The house in Bleke Street, Shaftesbury, was acquired with the help of a grant from the Housing Corporation. Abbeyfield House is now a Grade II listed building. On completion of the building’s original conversion in July 1982 our first six residents were welcomed through the doors. Two further rooms were added in 1985. Thanks to a generous donation from the Dunhill Medical Trust in 1991, we were able to open an extension which provided a further six rooms. In 2010 we added a further room and extended the five existing rooms following another generous donation, this time from the Margaret Fisher Charitable Trust.
The Society is managed by a committee of volunteer trustees. We employ a small housekeeping team and are lucky to be supported by a loyal group of volunteers who offer help with the gardens, open days, parties and many other activities throughout the year.
The Abbeyfield Society
We are affiliated to The Abbeyfield Society, which was founded in 1956 by Richard Carr-Gomm. After leaving the Army Major Carr-Gomm found that many of the residents in his neighbourhood of Bermondsey in south London were alone and isolated from the larger community. He used his Army pension to develop the first Abbeyfield home. This was in Abbeyfield Road, hence the name. Guided by his original principles, Abbeyfield’s teams of volunteers and professional staff offer practical support and companionship to residents all over the world.
There are over 150 independent member societies throughout the United Kingdom, offering supported sheltered housing, with a further range of accommodation and services that are directly managed from The Abbeyfield Society’s head office in St Albans, Hertfordshire. (Telephone: 01727 857536; website: www.abbeyfield.com). There are also a number of international affiliated societies.
As not-for-profit organisations, Abbeyfield societies are able to offer their services at a reasonable and fair price. Integral to all Abbeyfield independent societies are the volunteers who manage each Abbeyfield house. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, but all have one thing in common – a desire to help and support older people to live their lives to the full in a safe and homely environment.