The Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well
A century of living longer and living well
For 100 years, the Whiteley Homes Trust has helped older people of limited means to live better and, on average, longer than they would have done outside Whiteley Village. Good quality almshouses and a vibrant community, with care and support from family, friends, volunteers, and professionals have all contributed to our success.
People often see the country’s ageing population as a burden rather than an asset – particularly a burden on public services struggling to meet increasing demands. The Trust works with villagers to support them whatever their needs, but also to benefit from their skills. We are increasing the number of beneficiaries because so many older people live in poor or isolated conditions outside the Village.
In our centenary year (2017) we are ambitious for the next 100 years. We are launching a major development programme to build new almshouses with technically advanced facilities so we can support and care for people where they choose to be: in their own homes.
We want to go further. Most research about ageing focuses on health and care. But that is only one aspect of ageing, ignoring everyday life. How do people’s preferences and priorities change as they age? What does it mean to enjoy the added years of life to the full? What choices are most important to older people? What do they value most from people who want to help them? What makes them feel valued in society?
These issues affect everyone simply because they are getting older. Businesses, charities, and public services all need better insights if they are to be effective in helping older people live well as they age.
Whiteley’s century of experience gives us many clues, and a unique base for research and experimentation. We want to engage with others who share our interest. They could be older people, thought-leaders, and people working with older people in many different fields. They could be businesses providing technology and other aids and services. In fact, anyone keen that longer life should be better life, too.
Launching the Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well
The Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well aims to understand what it means to live well in later life, and how best to help people do so. The Whiteley Homes Trust will then apply the lessons in its everyday practice.
The Foundation will search widely for best practice, and share our learning freely. The charitable objectives of the Trust are to house and support older people of limited means, but the Foundation will address issues affecting all people as they age, irrespective of their wealth.
We will start by inviting a diverse range of thought-leaders from around the world to contribute to a volume of articles that challenge our thinking and set the agenda for the future. This will cover all aspects of ageing well, including well-being, leisure, personal relationships, finance, health, care and support. It will look ahead to the opportunities and implications of new technology to help people live well in later life. We will publish the volume in time for the 100th anniversary of the first Villager moving to Whiteley, which was October 1917.
We will organise an inaugural conference to discuss the issues raised in the publication. The conference will explore how to grasp the opportunities and tackle the challenges that our ageing society faces.
We will set up a website to publish our work and link it with that of others.
And we will apply the lessons we learn to the everyday life of the Village.
Laying the foundations
The Whiteley Foundation will be a free-standing body hosted by the Whiteley Homes Trust charity. If it is successful, it will become a separate charity.
The Trust has already made a start. In February 2017, we published ground-breaking research into longevity at Whiteley undertaken by the Cass Business School. The International Longevity Centre launched this important work, sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Actuaries Charitable Trust.
We have already worked with Surrey University on research into ethical decision-making in social care, the impact of change on elderly residents, and training for nurses. We are in discussions about other joint projects, including research about using technology to support care, the benefits of companion pets, and training for doctors.
Will you help us to launch The Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well?
We have half the finance to produce the first volume of articles. We want to engage with people and organisations who wish to join us in developing an inquisitive, optimistic approach to living well in older age.
We will, of course, acknowledge all supporters in the first publication and resulting publicity.
Please email for further information The Chair of the Whiteley Homes Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent: “The retirement village where women are living years longer than everyone else!”
Women in a Surrey retirement village are living years longer than even the wealthiest who live elsewhere, new research has found.
Read the full article by the Independent here.
Long live Whiteley: The Daily Express
Inside the village where 11 people have hit the 100 mark!
Read the full article by The Daily Express here.
According to The Daily Mail -Shangri-La is in Surrey!
Moving to a retirement village ‘adds years to a women’s life expectancy’
- The picturesque retirement community of Whiteley Village has 11 centenarians
- The village, near Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, boosts women’s longevity
- Social interaction and good healthcare are key to increased life expectancy
Read the full article here.
View/download Weekly News for the week commencing 20th February 2017 HERE
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WHITELEY RETIREMENT VILLAGE RECEIVES £1.7M CHARITY DONATION BOOST FOR BUILDING OF MORE ALMS HOUSES
2017 marks the centenary of Whiteley Village in Walton-on-Thames and this special year is off to a great start thanks to a charity donation of £1.75m from Richard Wyatt’s Trust, an almshouse trust based near Godalming, of which the Worshipful Company of Carpenters had been trustee for almost 400 years. This generous sum represented the final disposal of all funds held by Richard Wyatt’s Trust after the sale of its premises last year.
Run by Whiteley Homes Trust, Whiteley Village provides a vibrant retirement community to 500 people of limited financial means. The vital cash injection of £1.74m will help fund the building of an 62 additional almshouses in the village. The existing 262 almshouses are designed to enable independent living for the majority of Whiteley Village residents. For less-able residents there is also an assisted-living care centre of 51 apartments and there is also a nursing home on-site.
This generous donation will provide a massive boost for fund-raising efforts to build new alms houses at Whiteley Village in the next few years, and brings together the legacies of both Richard Wyatt, Master of The Carpenters’ Company, with that of William Whiteley, both of whom shared a passion for the provision of secure housing for poorer people in later life and created long-lasting legacies that continue to benefit society in 2017. In their day, both men were seen as visionary philanthropists providing care for older people, long before the creation of the UK’s state care system in the 1940s.
Chandra McGowan, Chief Executive of The Whiteley Homes Trust comments: “We are over-whelmed at the generosity of The Carpenters’ Company with this wonderful cash injection that enables us to build more homes and to continue offering the best possible accommodation for our residents. Whiteley Village is a unique place to live and age well and, there’s no doubt, its success comes from the incredible community spirit of the villagers and their passion for creating a deeply connected community that cares for each other and makes for a life full of social interactions and opportunities through the many clubs and activities in the village.”
The Richard Wyatt almshouses in Godalming date back to the seventeenth century when Richard Wyatt, a London timber merchant and Master of the Carpenters’ Company provided a fund in his will of 1619 to build the almshouses.
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You can view/download the February 2017 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.
Villager Magazine – February 2017
Welcome to February
Welcome to February – a significant month for the Trust and for the magazine I hope too. I understand a number of Villagers have come forward to actively participate in the planning and editing of the magazine, for which we are very grateful. I believe they will start to get this new process underway during February and you will begin to see some differences next month. The plan to involve people more directly in the make-up, look and feel of the magazine has come directly from discussions at the Care partnership forum, where members of that group discussed how the information that everyone needs about the support services could be improved.
I am sure the new “team” will look forward to your support as they get to grips with the style, content and timing of the magazine. I trust this means that more of you will feel that it is reflecting the views of the Village rather than the Trust and I would welcome your feedback on that after our next edition in March.
Chandra McGowan, CEO
You can view/download the January 2017 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.
Villager Magazine – January 2017
Welcome to 2017
Welcome to 2017 and all that it holds. We have an exciting year ahead of us as, with an opportunity to celebrate the last 100 years and look forward to the next. I am conscious as I write that this is a momentous time in the history of the Trust and it is incumbent on all of us, residents, staff and trustees of this wonderful place to ensure that we have given full attention to the lessons of the past, whilst planning for the future. I suspect the original trustees were equally aware of the big responsibility they were carrying and I imagine that if they could drop in today to see the results they would feel an enormous sense of pride at their legacy.
Today, to help keep us focused on the important things that need to be done, the Leadership Team and the Trustees are committed to further improving 5 key elements of our work , which I would like to share with you:
• Developing a suitably qualified and motivated community of staff, volunteers
• Ensuring we have access to flexible funding for the new building works
• Increasing our use of helpful technology across all our services
• Ensuring we continue to have a beautiful accessible and sustainable environment
• Telling others about how Whiteley makes a difference to people’s lives, so we are known as the best place to age in Britain
As a charity we continuously strive to offer opportunities that allow all who live and work here to enjoy life as part of this community.
I wish you all the very best for 2017 and look forward to your involvement and support this year.
Chandra McGowan, CEO
You can view/download the December 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.
Villager Magazine – December 2016
The end of the year is always a time of reflection for me, before I then rush head long into the New Year with a bag of hopes and dreams for the future. This year particularly I have been acutely aware that we are not living in a bubble at Whiteley, as it has been impossible to ignore the seismic shifts in world politics. Most of these global events seem very distant and sometimes of little relevance, but as we all know there are ripple effects which touch us all in different ways. In the meantime, as ever, Whiteley itself has produced some amazingly memorable events, touching and funny stories during 2016 that make me smile when I think back.
For me it’s been a joyful year with much to be happy about, but I am aware that for some it will have been a year of mixed emotions and some trepidation for what the future will bring. The best bit about what connects us at Whiteley is that we have all experienced highs and lows at different points in our lives and throughout the course of our time here, whether we are residents, staff, volunteers or family members. It’s that connection which is part of the Whiteley glue that makes this such a special place.
So whilst remembering both the good and the not so good times of 2016, I hope you will all find a connection with someone or something to smile about, and take that with you into 2017. We have much to be thankful for within this wonderful Village and sharing memories of the good times with family , friends and neighbours allows us to spread a little of that Whiteley magic just a little further.
I wish you all a very happy festive season and your own special bag of hopes and dreams for 2017.
Chandra McGowan, CEO
You can view/download the November 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE.
Villager Magazine – November 2016
My piece for the magazine this month will be short and sweet. This is on the basis that I am hoping a large number of you will have been at the Village Hall for the Open Meeting on the 18th October, and as such will have heard my review of 2015 and the latest news about our development plans. As ever, I enjoy the opportunity to talk about our collective achievements and this meeting is an increasingly important way of highlighting these, particularly at a time when working together is critical to our future success. I know that building trust relies on transparency and honesty, therefore the annual meeting offers a chance to share information openly, raise issues and allow space for comments from all involved in Village life. I sincerely hope that those of you who attended found it a useful and engaging event, so I look forward with anticipation to what I shall be able to put in my presentation next year!
Chandra McGowan, CEO
You can view/download the October 2016 issue of the Villager magazine HERE
Villager Magazine – October 2016
A HOME CARE EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER
This month I have had the privilege of working with our Home Care Team on an early morning shift in the Village. I wanted to tell you about this as I had so many positive comments from the people we visited about just how much they valued the care and support they received from the staff. Also because the staff I worked with were so dedicated and diligent in paying attention to the individuals who depend on them.
This team provides some important help with the tasks of daily living. The little things that make us all feel better about ourselves and ready to face the day. From helping you to have a warm cup of tea in the morning, to assistance in the shower, to make you feel fresh and clean, to checking that people have taken their pills which keep their long term conditions under control, all are hugely life affirming acts that provide opportunities for social interaction, sometimes with people who are housebound and don’t see many other people at all. It is difficult to imagine, for those who are hale and hearty, that we may ever be in need of these wonderful services. Indeed we sometimes feel that asking for help is failure. However, I can say from my own experience with the team that the kindness, care and attention to the needs of the individuals made me think how lucky we are to have this service in the Village. For anyone in need themselves and requiring information about the support available then please contact either Agnes or Lisa on 825846 and 825839.
Chandra McGowan, CEO