The Abbeyfield Story

Abbeyfield was founded by Richard Carr-Gomm in 1956. Having served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the Coldstream Guards for 16 years, he resigned to volunteer as home help.

During this time Richard realised that the people he was looking after were often lonely and he wanted to provide them with support and security. Richard decided to spend his Army gratuity on the first Abbeyfield house located in Bermondsey, East London. He then invited two older people from the community to live with him.

Soon after purchasing a house in Bermondsey and inviting two 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. Richard Carr-Gomm, Abbeyfield Founder

By 1960 there were Abbeyfield societies in eight London boroughs and 15 other cities throughout the country.

Today Abbeyfield has 500 homes in the UK with more in AustraliaBelgiumCanadaJerseySouth Africa and New Zealand all with committed staff and volunteers.

Due to the success of Abbeyfield, Richard Carr-Gomm received significant recognition for his work. He appeared on TV's 'This Is Your Life' and had a blue plaque dedicated to him on Gomm Road in Bermondsey honoring his work as a social reformer.

Of his work, Richard said, "If only we could have an Abbeyfield house on every street to which everyone could come...then everyone would be treated the same and share equally the kindness of the community around them."

Find out more about us