The Abbeyfield Society

We’re a charity for older people providing housing and care in our homes across the UK and internationally.

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The Abbeyfield Society's mission is to help end loneliness in later life by creating communities that keep people connected.

Abbeyfield's staff and volunteers play a vital part in achieving that aim. They care for up to 8,000 older people in more than 400 homes and houses in the UK and overseas.

The charity provides supported housing, residential care, dementia care and independent living. It offers a range of career options, from carers and cooks to house managers and activities co-ordinators, plus roles in its head office in St Albans.

During the pandemic, front-line staff were supported with one-to-one wellbeing checks as well as measures such as extensive infection control, PPE and testing.

Office staff worked from home, except for essential visits. They will primarily work remotely in future, with a hub and home approach. The offices will be redesigned to create a collaborative workspace.

All employees received regular updates from the executive team and managers, and surveys kept a check on how they were feeling. Sick pay was extended and the annual leave entitlement increased. A wellbeing pack included a £100 voucher.

Abbeyfield likes to show its appreciation by sending thank you letters and cards to staff, and gives them Christmas presents. Social activities during the pandemic included quizzes, virtual escape rooms and a virtual bar.

Featured Workplace Factors

Leadership

52% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

The company values have been revised collaboratively to better reflect Abbeyfield. The new set of behaviours is being embedded into all people processes and is part of the leadership programme developed by the charity. Leaders will be assessed against the behaviours through the use of a 360 feedback tool.

My Company

72% of staff agreed

I feel proud to work for this organisation

Staff have 24/7 access to an employee assistance programme and a broad range of wellbeing advice on the intranet plus support from Abbeyfield's in-house chaplain. An online resilience training course is available and sector-specific help from organisations such as the National Care Forum.

Personal Growth

58% of staff agreed

This job is good for my own personal growth

One of the charity's most recent appointments was to an executive director role, which was filled internally by a member of staff who started as a housekeeper running one of the sheltered houses. Abbeyfield also offers apprenticeships and has a comprehensive training programme for staff.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
1956
Total number of employees
102
Number of UK locations
48
Employee average age
16% : 84%
Male : Female employee ratio
7%
Employees earning £35k+
26%
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

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Quote from the top...
"As a Charity within the health and social care sector, The Abbeyfield Society provides care and housing for older people. Our aim is to alleviate loneliness; with our residents at the heart of what we do. We are incredibly proud of our amazing staff and the lengths they have gone to in order to support and protect our residents in the past very challenging 12 months of the global COVID-19 pandemic. To have achieved the recognised standard of workplace engagement from Best Companies in such circumstances is remarkable. Our status as ‘One to Watch’, our placement on three regional ‘Best Companies to Work For’ lists and the accreditation of 41 of our managers as highly engaging leaders, measured against external benchmarks, demonstrates our commitment to maintaining excellent levels of engagement amongst our staff. This is our first BHeard survey and there is much to celebrate, however, we are keen to continue to enhance our staff experience and are already focussing on improvement areas for next time."

Gail Manley, HR Director - The Abbeyfield Society

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