TAUNTON: Putting people first – 30 years of care in Somerset

Travel back in time to 1991, and we were driving Ford Escorts, eating Pop Tarts and listening to Queen. In Somerset, something very significant was also happening in our communities, as we became the first county to privatise residential care homes previously run by the local authority.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Somerset Care took over the management of 26 residential care homes from Somerset County Council in 1991, supporting over 1,000 residents to live the life they choose. Fast forward to today, and thousands of people have been supported by Somerset Care’s specialist residential, community, learning disabilities and dementia support teams.

A lot has changed in 30 years, but many things have also remained constant.

CEO, Gary Ridewood, reflects on Somerset Care’s story so far:

“A significant milestone always provides the opportunity to look back – and look forward.

“Flicking back through the archives, the faces may have changed, but some of the care sector headlines around funding shortfalls and recruitment could have been written yesterday. The need to provide care in our communities hasn’t gone away either, and that tailored support is perhaps needed more now than ever as we continue to navigate a global pandemic. I cannot thank our dedicated teams enough for the selfless commitment they continue to show for those in our care.

“As a not-for-profit company, Somerset Care has grown, had several new looks, received multiple Royal visitors and moved offices in the last 30 years, but our ethos remains the same. We exist to deliver high-quality care for those who need it in our local communities – whether in our residential care homes or their own homes. As long as that need is there, we will be here to meet it.

“As we enter the next chapter of Somerset Care’s story, we look forward to providing the specialist support needed to help even more people to live the life they choose.”

To find out more about Somerset Care, its history, settings and services, please visit www.somersetcare.co.uk or call 0800 8174 990.

Minerva Studio
Author: Minerva Studio