Corporate Social Responsibility

Our responsibility

At Retirement Villages Group we have a clear view about our wider role in the community.  Our success as a commercial enterprise is underpinned by our social values and a responsible and efficient approach to the use and management of scarce resources – people, environment, land, materials and energy.  This is evident throughout our business.

Our commitment is to behave ethically, to contribute to economic development and to enrich the lives of our residents, our workforce, the local communities we serve and society at large whilst protecting the environment and the natural resources of our planet.  How are we doing this?

By caring for our residents

Our objective is to sustain, wherever possible, the continuing independence of our residents and to provide them with the optimum level of choice and dignity in meeting their particular needs. In this way we aim to enable them to have the best possible quality of life consistent with their age and health.  We are ever alert to the changing needs of our residents, helping to tailor services and support to individual circumstances.  To achieve this objective we provide a continuum of accommodation – with services to match – ranging from specialist independent living to extra care, nursing and dementia units, as well as convalescent, respite and rehabilitation facilities in a number of locations. We develop a built environment within which our staff are able to optimise the choice of services and living arrangements for each individual resident.

Our care businesses are professionally regulated and managed.  We work closely with the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) and their inspectors, Social Services Teams, Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Teams, Environmental Health Officers, Fire Safety Inspectors and others concerned with the welfare of residents and staff.

Formally measuring the wellbeing of residents is not possible but we are heartened by the many individual instances that demonstrate the value of the retirement village concept and the continuum of care to which we have referred. The health and spirit of many new residents improves following their arrival at our villages and they enjoy an enhanced life quality and expectancy when compared to their peers in the population as a whole.  Our residents boast several centenarians among their number.

By caring for our staff

Our objective is to have in place staff structures that provide incentive and career advancement opportunities.  This will help to develop further our culture of learning, service and professionalism.  To help employees along their career path we encourage them to develop their skills and qualifications through external study, which in turn improves the quality of care we can offer residents.  We encourage managers to develop authority and commercial awareness and to make the most of opportunities to exercise autonomy, take responsibility and make decisions that will benefit the company, residents and staff.

By caring for the communities in which we operate

Our objective is that all our villages should build relationships with the local community, General Practitioners, community nursing teams, clergy, schools and social groups and with local charities, clubs, societies, voluntary and other local organisations. Our villages sponsor community events and raise money for local causes and charities. In these and other ways we interact with and contribute directly to the vitality and durability of the local social fabric.

Our villages are substantial local employers, typically employing between 35-100 staff in a variety of roles at each site. Additionally, our villages have a policy of sourcing supplies and services locally where possible, forming strong relationships with local shops and tradespeople.  This is especially important in rural communities.  The extra demand generated by a retirement village can make the difference to the survival of local services ranging from the village shop and post office to community bus services. Where commissioning arrangements allow, our care services are available to those who are both state funded and self-funded.

A range of tenure options makes our villages inclusive, and our domiciliary care services are available to the wider local community along with respite, rehabilitation and convalescent services, making a vital contribution to the local and often rural provision of services and helping people continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible.

By caring for those in need

We encourage our residents and staff to take part in charitable activities that reach out beyond the village and the local community and to support causes close to their hearts.

By caring for the environment

Our objective is to design new villages to sustainable environmental and energy efficient standards consistent with affordability and the quality of life of our residents. We will increasingly incorporate solar energy, combined heat and power units and rain water harvesting where appropriate.

We are working to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure Retirement Villages Group contributes to the achievement of a low carbon economy by the use of renewable and low-carbon technologies and low energy lighting.

We encourage our Village Managers to review the energy usage on existing villages and explore improvements to energy efficiency. Examples are the substitution of a biomass boiler for the LPG boiler plant at Roseland incurring significant financial and carbon savings and the increasing substitution of LED lighting for low energy lighting leading to further energy and replacement savings

Just as important are the contributions residents can make in their daily lives.  We have a waste recycling policy and our independent living units operate a self-managed recycling centre to encourage residents to minimise landfill waste.  We are also encouraging the introduction of water butts and composting of garden waste has been standard practice in our villages for many years.

By caring for the built environment

Whether caring for historic buildings, preserving common land, restoring a significant landscape or contributing to ‘place making’, we at Retirement Villages Group appreciate the importance of conserving and creating an environment that continues to serve the needs and meet the aspirations of our residents, shareholders and staff while the wider local community benefits from our continuing efforts to create a tangible legacy from our investment and development.

We are a custodian of fine historic buildings and our restoration and re-use of these buildings provides them with new purpose and helps to conserve what English Heritage has described as a ‘sense of place’.  In some developments they become the much loved focal point for community services.

By caring for the health and safety of staff and residents

Our objective is to ensure that the health and safety of staff and residents is a given priority and that all legislation is fully complied with. To do this we have to ensure that all mandatory and service specific training has been completed successfully.  Every village has to undergo an independent external health and safety audit and is subject to audit by our health and safety review committee.  All our new homes meet and exceed the Government’s Lifetime Homes criteria, and new developments are extensively, but unobtrusively, future-proofed to try to anticipate the changing needs of residents as they age.

We take the health of our staff and residents extremely seriously. In advance of winter 2016, we arranged to pay for all staff to have the flu vaccination to help protect them, their families and our residents.

By behaving fairly and openly

Our objective is to behave fairly with all those we interact with, be they staff, residents, suppliers or government bodies and to be as transparent about our business as we can.

Conclusion

At Retirement Villages Group we see the time and money invested in the objectives and activities described above as making an essential contribution to achieving our greater goal of building a business that is a leader and exemplar in its field.

We only achieve that leadership by constantly providing better services delivered even more efficiently and generating higher levels of customer satisfaction year on year.

Our regard for people, for places and for the environment marks Retirement Villages Group out as a socially aware leader in its field, while providing the necessary basis for the continued financial success of a business which draws its strength from meeting a clear social and service need.

Visit our Residents’ Diary pages within each of our village pages where you will see details on some of the very latest activities, many of which revolve around fundraising and charity-based events.

Below is a taste of just some of the many fund-raising efforts of our residents over the last 12 months.

The Priory – Devon

  • The Priory is involved in the National Garden Scheme, annually opening the gardens to the community for one weekend in the summer.  Refreshments and a history tour of The Priory are included.
  • International charity Mercy Ships benefits from fundraising at The Priory. A Big Breakfast at Easter is one of the main contributors.
  • The village engages with the local community by running an annual Art & Craft Exhibition, showing the resident’s skills. This event is held over a week in the Autumn.
  • The village supports Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Care with various events throughout the year.
  • The local branch of the National Trust holds an annual concert, using the facilities at The Priory, and the residents and local community can support the NT by attending the evening event, with a buffet and wine.
  • An annual Charity Christmas Card sale is held each November.
  • Used postage stamps are collected for the Woodland Trust.
  • The local community are invited to join in our weekly Thai Chi classes.

Lime Tree Village – Warwickshire

  • The British Heart Foundation is the main beneficiary of a regular fund-raising coffee morning and book sale at Lime Tree Village organized and supported by the residents.
  • Residents manage 11 allotments in the village enabling them to grow their own produce and home-grown compost is used on flower beds around the village by the maintenance teams.
  • Village manager Malvenia Richmond is running a 10km race in London on May 30 to raise £250 for Cancer Research UK as a thank you for all the support she received during her recent illness.

Thamesfield – Oxfordshire

  • Residents, their families and Thamesfield staff support the Macmillan Coffee Mornings in September every year.
  • At Christmas, staff raise funds for the nominated charity by donating money that would have been spent on Christmas cards – and instead decorate a bauble or card for a special Christmas tree. A raffle at the Christmas party also raises funds to support the nominated charity.
  • This year the Thamesfield Art group contributed to a calendar that will also raise funds for the nominated charity.
  • Each year the Thamesfield staff choose which charity to support for the current year from a list of pertinent and local charities.

Mayford Grange – Surrey

The Residents Association has supported:

  • Macmillan Cancer Support by holding coffee mornings ‘eat cake with friends’
  • Lennox Children’s Cancer fund – taking part in their fund-raising for a better quality of life for the children and their families
  • Samaritan’s Purse by sending shoe boxes (12) at Christmas out to Central Asia
  • Woking Food Bank donations on a monthly basis
  • Woking Hospice coffee morning; clothes collection; christmas card sale and bric-a-brac to sell in their shops

Park Place – Lincolnshire

  • Staff at Park Place regularly fund raise for both Children in Need and the Macmillan Coffee Morning

Blagdon Village – Somerset

  • Residents collect 5p coins for SURE (Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment) at Musgrove Park Hospital.
  • They also collect cartridges and coppers for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
  • Instead of buying Christmas cards residents donate to St Margaret’s Hospice Care

Cedars – Hertfordshire

  • The annual Macmillan Coffee Morning at Cedars Village usually raises around £1200.
  • Residents also support Guide Dogs for the Blind by collecting used postage stamps.
  • The village Knit and Knatters group raises funds throughout the year towards Michael Sobell Hospice in Northwood.
  • The office has a Help the Heroes box for any spare change in support of our wounded.
  • Residents support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Registered Charity No.219279
  • Christchurch Primary School Children sing carols to our residents at Christmas and raises money for the school and children’s charities.

Avonpark – Wiltshire

  • Residents at Avonpark raise funds throughout the year at various events to support Dorothy House – a local hospice; and Genesis – a charity that helps the homeless in nearby Bath.

Elmbridge – Surrey

Residents at Elmbridge Village are very active raising funds for charities.

  • April 2015 – raised £500 in an Easter raffle for Shooting Stars Chase Children’s Hospice.
  • September 2015 – raised £325 for Macmillan with a coffee morning.
  • November 2015 – A village collection raised £125.30 for the annual Poppy Appeal; and then a Christmas Fair raised £1070 for the Shooting Stars charity.

Castle Village – Hertfordshire

  • November 2015 – residents raised £1000 for The Hospice of St Francis from the sale of handmade gifts.
  • December 2015 – residents raised £700 from a Salvation Army Concert.

Roseland Parc – Cornwall

  • In January, residents handed over a cheque for £200 to Guide Dogs for the Blind, the proceeds from a Christmas Fayre.
  • The British Heart Foundation was the recipient of £170.12 following a residents’ February tea party called ‘Wear it, beat it’.

Charters Village – East Sussex

  • Residents held a bucket collection at the Christmas carol concert to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Moat Park – Essex

  •  Residents get involved in a range of charitable initiatives both within the village and in the community, including the annual poppy appeal.