Abbeyfield South Downs: supporting older people with independent living

Abbeyfield South Downs operates supported sheltered housing for older people across the area and is developing one of its sites to modernise its housing model.

Social Problem

There is a nationwide problem of finding appropriate housing for the ageing population, which offers independent living but with support and company when needed.


Abbeyfield South Downs properties offer private accommodation, where older people can maintain their independence, within a larger residential site. Other residents and staff are on hand to provide social interaction and support and nutritious communal meals are served twice a day.


With a loan of £4 million, Charity Bank enabled Abbeyfield South Downs to redevelop an existing site for its new ‘extra care’ scheme. This updated housing model will offer larger private accommodation as well as extra assistance and care from staff working on site. Charity Bank also helped to source the additional £3.6million required through partnering with another social finance provider.


Once completed, this larger, modernised housing site with extra care will extend people's lifetime of choice and independence. Offering one or two-bedroom flats with full kitchens and living areas, the aim is to attract younger residents and give them the option to stay for as long as possible with fewer needing to move into nursing or specialist care homes.

“Charity Bank proved itself to be head and shoulders above the rest from the very first meeting. The expertise of our regional manager, Adam Ruffinato, was immediately clear and he offered us invaluable guidance on the spot. Ever since, he has continued to be incredibly helpful and supportive, always talking sense and doing what he can to make things easier for us.”

“Not only did Charity Bank put up the initial loan, and not only were they fantastic to deal with, they also went off and found the rest of the money we needed. Charity Bank absolutely saved the day.”

Nolan Taylor, Chief Executive, Abbeyfield South Downs

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £290m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.

Last reviewed: 22/04/2020