Celebrating our 75 anniversary milestone in May

In the month of May, our Charity is celebrating 75 years of caring for Gloucestershire’s older people.

Lilian Faithfull Care has been providing exceptional care to remarkable people in Gloucestershire since 1946. Our care ranges from adult day care, respite, independent and assisted living, residential and nursing care with specialist knowledge of living with dementia, palliative and end of life care. As a charity we are in care for the right reasons – not for profit, and through our ‘Home for Life’ pledge, they will never ask a resident to leave their homes for financial reasons.

Throughout the month of May, our teams will be will be safely celebrating the 75th anniversary with the remarkable people they care for, and virtually with families and supporters. Plus, sharing more stories which you can look out for on their social media pages.

As a fun and active way to mark their 75-year milestone they have a virtual 75 ‘Miles in May’ Charity Challenge and are inviting people to take part or simply donate to their charity. To find out more about their May’s Charity Challenge visit: www.lilianfaithfull.co.uk/about-us/support-us

Martin Hughes, CEO of Lilian Faithfull Care shared, “We would like to thank everyone that has worked, lived and been involved with our charity – you’ve helped sustain it over the 75 years. With our team’s exceptional care and commitment, and our families, partners and community’s continued support, we remain one of the most enjoyable and safest places to live and work in Gloucestershire. We look forward to another 75 years.”

Steeped in history, below is their story with insight into their founder Lilian Faithfull and their 75 years of care in Gloucestershire. If you have memories or stories about the founder or the charity from its 75-year history the Lilian Faithfull Care team would love to hear from you.

It was in May 1946 when Lilian Mary Faithfull, retired Principal of the Cheltenham Ladies College, declared that “Something must be done” after seeing the suffering of those in old age. Within the space of a few weeks she had galvanised a team of local people and lead the formation of ‘The Cheltenham Old People’s Housing Society Limited.

Lilian Faithfull’s tenacity and drive spearheaded the fundraising. Earlier in her career it was said of her that, “Miss Faithfull has great business capacity and is as staunch and able champion of any institution she supports,” and this was born out by the rapid expansion of the work of the society.

Lilian died aged 86, 7 years after she founded the charity, passing away in the third home that was purchased – Faithfull House in Suffolk Square Cheltenham. The charity was subsequently renamed in her honour.

Their Remarkable Lives project celebrates the people we care for and you can read theirs and Lilian Faithfull’s inspiring stories here: www.lilianfaithfull.co.uk/remarkable-lives

One thing that has remained unchanged is the staff’s commitment to one of the founding principles of the Charity; “a desire to improve the lives of others through care and dedication.”

The charity now employs 412 staff who have an incredible total of 2,253 years of service at the charity between them. This knowledge and experience has been particularly crucial over the last challenging year.

Suzanne Booker, Director of Care sums it up, “Nothing we do would be possible without the sheer love, care and commitment of everyone in our Lilian Faithfull Care family.

They now have five residential and nursing homes and two adult day care hubs in Gloucestershire caring for 250 people across the county. Many of the buildings are rich in character and history.

<photo: Miss Lilian Mary Faithfull (Photograph from the College Archives by kind permission of Cheltenham Ladies’ College>

Astell House

Astell House was commissioned by Lilian Faithfull when she was Principal of the Cheltenham Ladies College. Opened in 1912, it was a boarding house for its staff for 50 years.

In 1969 it was opened by the charity as a residential home and continues to develop, most recently with a remarkable conservatory designed by Cheltenham architect Andy Hobdey from Stanley Partnership.

The beautiful characterful home offers residential care in a peaceful and relaxed setting of Cheltenham.

<Photo: Astell House – then and now (Photograph from the College Archives by kind permission of Cheltenham Ladies’ College)>

Faithfull House

Faithfull House on Suffolk Square in Cheltenham used to be the Wares and the Dorchester Hotels. Purchased for £25,000 they were joined together to create Faithfull House which was opened as a residential home in October 1951.

They now have a specialist ‘Bluebell Suite’ for those living with dementia and with higher level care needs.

Thanks to the support of charitable trusts, Faithfull House also now provides the modern Secret Garden Hub, tucked away in its grounds offering adult day care.

<Photo: Faithfull House – then and now – and our Secret Garden Hub>

Resthaven

Resthaven in Pitchcombe near Stroud joined Lilian Faithfull Care in 2017. It was the vision of Maud and Michael Little who saw the creation and opening of the home in 1938 overlooking the beautiful Painswick valley. It offers 24-hour residential and nursing care surrounded by beautiful secure private gardens amongst the finest countryside.

<Photo: Resthaven – then and now >

St Faith’s

St Faith’s was purchased in 1962 from Cheltenham Ladies College (it was known as Bredenbury House).

After conversion it opened in 1962 as a residential home for 28 ladies. St Faith’s provides person-centred nursing care to 69 residents with specialism in dementia, palliative and end of life care.

<Photo: St Faith’s – then and now >

Royal Court

Royal Court, which is a modern purpose built accessible home for residents, joined the charity in 2016.

In a quiet residential location in Cheltenham with 43 light and spacious apartments, each with their own front door and the reassurance of 24-hour support.

<Photo: Royal Court Care Home >

Uplands Hub

In March 2020 the Uplands Hub which provides adult day care in Stroud, joined Lilian Faithfull Care, extending the care offered to those living in the local community.

Offering flexible, individually tailored care to help improve the quality of life, promote independence and give respite to families and carers.

Uplands Care Service, Stroud

<Photo: Uplands Day Centre, Stroud>

It is not only the buildings which have changed and developed over the 75 years, the charity remains at the forefront of care and continually adapts to the sectors’ needs in Gloucestershire. Here’s a snapshot of their innovative work in 2021;

  • Pledging to provide a ‘Home for Life’ for every resident. The charity never asks a resident to leave for financial reasons and last year this support totalled £1.55 million.
  • Providing free physiotherapy; as part of the ethos to support people to live as full and independent as possible.
  • Supporting the training of the next generation of nursing students and paramedics from the University of Gloucestershire.
  • Introducing new technology such a pilot with Service Robotics and the University of Plymouth of ‘Genie’, a companion robot which includes easy video links with family.
  • Connecting virtually with community groups who kindly provide a constant source of entertainment and support.

As Lilian Faithfull said, in her opening address as Principal of Cheltenham Ladies College in 1907 “There is active work to be done. We are not worthy to live in any society taking everything and giving nothing.” Lilian Faithfull Care continues to be inspired by her remarkable vision.

To share any memories, stories or photos and help celebrate their 75th anniversary please contact Marketing and Fundraising Manager Kelly.Richardson@lilianfaithfull.co.uk

For more information about our homes and adult day care visit: www.lilianfaithfull.co.uk