From humble beginnings in Kingswood Road, Gillingham, The Abbeyfield Kent Society has grown to become the biggest independent Abbeyfield in the world. Last week, it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Residents of the Society’s supported home in Paddock Wood, Margaret Fisher House, were joined by relatives, friends and volunteers of the home for an early summer barbecue on Saturday 13th May, in celebration of the organisation’s 50th anniversary.
The Society’s Chief Executive, Leon Steer, also joined residents and their guests for the special occasion and as the group dined and socialised alfresco, they all agreed they were very lucky with the weather, as the sun shone all afternoon!
As well as the anniversary celebration, volunteers also used the opportunity to host a fundraising tombola, which raised £130 for the residents of Margaret Fisher House and will contribute towards day trips for them.
Kent got its first Abbeyfield home in 1967, when Rev Tom Rogers noticed that older people in the area were lonely and in need of care. From that first small house in Kingswood Road, the Society continued to grow over the years and in 1992, Rogers House opened in Gillingham, it was the first residential care home in the county to provide 24-hour care and compassion