Who we are

Any organisation, large or small, can only be as good as the people in it. Abbeyfield's well-earned reputation for providing excellent housing and care services is mainly thanks to the exceptional people - management, staff and volunteers - who have joined our cause.

Our interim Chief Executive Officer

Our Senior Management Team

Douglas Webb, Chief Operating Officer

In 2000 Douglas began working in the elderly care sector including executive and non executive roles in a variety of national and regional organisations.

Anna Boyes, Director of Brand Marketing

Anna joined Abbeyfield in February 2014. Anna has a background in consumer facing marketing roles within the private sector.

Jonathan Sweet, Director of Legal and Compliance & Company Secretary

Jonathan joined Abbeyfield in December 2014, having been the in-house Counsel for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Prior to that, Jonathan was a Solicitor with an international law firm in London. In private practice, Jonathan was a litigator having gained experience of regulatory investigations brought by multiple agencies across several jurisdictions.

Richard Virr, Director of Property & Development

Richard joined Abbeyfield in April 2012 and has over 20 years experience in property and construction. Prior to joining Abbeyfield, Richard worked for Buro Four, the largest specialist Project Management consultancy in the UK.

John Clark, Director of Finance

John joined Abbeyfield in November 2019,after working at the Royal Voluntary Service, and prior to that spent many years as a Finance Director in Retail companies such as HMV, Pret a Manger and Play.com.

Julie Robinson, Experience Programme Director

Julie has held a variety of leadership roles during her career, with significant experience of leading and implementing change and transformation, always with a focus on delivering the best results for the customer.
Julie joined Abbeyfield in January 2018 as the Regional Director for the North having worked in a variety of different organisations across public, private and charitable sectors. She became the Experience Programme Director in 2020 following her success on a number of projects within the experience programme.

Kirstan Sparshott, Regional Director (East)

Kirstan has a wealth of experience in social care and supported housing and has held senior operational management roles over the last 13 years. Kirstan regularly takes part in charity fundraising events and is a keen volunteer. She is an active member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Chartered Management Institute and is dedicated to making a difference to older people’s lives.

Theresa Wilson, Regional Director (North)

Theresa joined Abbeyfield in 2012 and recently became the Regional Director of the North Region. She spent several years as a Business Manager, effectively leading a number of schemes including care, leasehold and rental across the North East, Yorkshire and East Midlands. Theresa has had a successful career in customer service and is passionate about care and social housing, empowering people to deliver a high quality service. She was delighted to be nominated by her peers in the Making Time Awards where she was the proud winner of the Hero award for outstanding contribution.

Heather Mohammed, Regional Director (West)

Heather has extensive knowledge and experience working in sheltered and supported housing. Heather has worked at Abbeyfield since December 2008.

Gail Manley, HR Director

Gail joined Abbeyfield as HR Director in October 2018. Her career in HR has incorporated leadership roles in a variety of sectors including welfare to work, heath and utilities. Gail ran her own HR consultancy business prior to joining Abbeyfield. She is passionate about ensuring Abbeyfield is a great place to work.

Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is made up of volunteer members, each selected for their expertise and experience in sectors including housing, care and finance.

Amanda Houlihan

Amanda has been involved in the Abbeyfield organisation since 2005, when she came a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee for the Leonard Pulham Nursing Home.

Jeff Medlock

Jeff became a trustee of Abbeyfield Beaconsfield Society in 2009 and has been Chairman since 2012.

The Right Reverend Dr Stephen Venner, DL

For ten years Stephen was the Bishop in Canterbury & Bishop of Dover, leading the Diocese of Canterbury on behalf of the Archbishop.

Professor Brian Williams CBE

Currently Chairman of the Abbeyfield Societies in Scotland since 2013 and a member of the Members’ Committee of The Abbeyfield Society.

Sara Beamand

Sara has over 25 years’ experience within the care and supported housing environment, prior to this having worked in general needs housing.

Chris Smith

Chris retired in 2013 after 10 years as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He now pursues a portfolio of interests, mainly in the voluntary sector.

André Decraene

André has a passion for learning about and understanding the aims and concerns of the people with whom to deal. André is also a trustee of other charities dealing with housing and welfare of people with a mental illness.

Cedric Meiring

Cedric was nominated to the Board of Abbeyfield South Africa, November 2016. In September 2017 he was appointed as Chairman of the Board Abbeyfield SA.

George Ashworth

George is the Chair of Abbeyfield St Albans Society and joined the Board of The Abbeyfield Society in September 2021. He has had a 40 year professional career in the financial services sector, and worked at board level both in executive and non-executive capacities.

Mike Turner

Mike was elected as a member of the Board in September 2021.

Mike is a Chartered Engineer with an MBA from the University of Bath. He has significant experience of asset management within the public sector as well as developing framework solutions within the private sector. He is an Executive Director of Ian Williams Limited, one of the UKs largest property services companies, and an Executive Director of the National Housing Maintenance Forum (NHMF).

Our Patron

We are lucky to have the support of many patrons, who give their time and expertise to support our work. Our Royal patron HRH the Prince of Wales and the Carr-Gomm family are invaluable in underpinning our values.

We thank all our patrons for their continued support.

Ian Plaistowe OBE


  • The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Baron Williams of Oystermouth
  • The Duchess of Northumberland
  • Lord John Prescott
  • Harriet Carr-Gomm
  • David Carr-Gomm
  • Adam Carr-Gomm
  • Elizabeth Parker (Carr-Gomm)
  • Anna Newton (Carr-Gomm)
  • Ron Kenyon, OBE
  • Michael Brooks  
  • John Robinson CBE
  • The Rt Hon Baroness Virginia Bottomley of Nettlestone, JP
  • Dame Gillian Wagner, DBE, OBE
  • Dame Judi Dench, DBE
  • The Lord Elis-Thomas
  • Michael Staff MBE
  • Alun E Michael, JP
  • Dame Patricia Routledge, OBE
  • Martin Shreeve, OBE MBA DSW BSc (Econ)
  • Professor Alan Walker, DLitt FRSA
  • Aled Jones

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