This year marks our 35th anniversary of delivering care in your community.
I have no intention of slowing down…
These were the words of our Founder and Chairman Derek Luckhurst at the start of 2021 as Agincare began its 35th anniversary year. They epitomise the drive and passion for delivering high quality care that has seen Agincare thrive and grow on a sustainable basis, surviving three recessions and the current ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Fast forward to the end of 2021, and Derek, watched by a conference hall of his peers, took to the stage to collect a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious Leaders in Care Awards held at the NCC in Birmingham.
Paying tribute to the room Derek said:
We do an amazing job in this industry. Every single one of us should be proud of ourselves.
However, the implication that 35 years represents the totality of my working lifetime underestimates the amount of enthusiasm and energy I still have to grow Agincare further; and continue to make a positive difference to the sector and those we care for.
2021 has seen another year of our teams delivering essential care and support to some of the most vulnerable people in society as Covid once again tightened its grip on the nation.
Looking back, I have plenty of memories of the last 35 years, but can’t imagine anything more profound than what we are going through at the moment with the Covid pandemic.
I have never felt so proud of the team. Everyone at all levels has played their part from the Chief Executive, through to our dedicated care workers going out every day risking their lives to provide an essential service to society.”
The bravery, commitment and dedication of our teams was recognised with the award of a specially commissioned Covid Hero Medal to all our team members across the country.
Star of film and television Joanna Lumley recorded a special video message. It congratulated workers on receiving the medal and thanking them for their heroic efforts.
Agincare Chief Executive Raina Summerson added:
We wanted to find a heart-felt way of saying thank you and showing genuine appreciation to our Agincare team, during what has been an incredibly challenging time for them both personally and professionally. They have shown true resilience, courage and commitment to social care, and we wanted to recognise that.
It was back in 1986 that our founder and chairman, Derek Luckhurst, started his very first care home, Agincourt in Weymouth, Dorset (pictured below). The Luckhurst family lived on site, and Derek got to know care inside-out by delivering it on a day-to-day basis. His vision was to create a new style of care home, that offered high-quality personalised care and facilities at an affordable price. Derek said:
I was inspired to go into the care sector because I knew there were ways of providing a better quality of care than what was available at the time.
Building on Agincourt’s good local reputation, Derek created independent care provider Agincare in 1993 to deliver home care, and manage a growing number of care and nursing homes across the country. In 1994, Agincare was one of the very first care providers in the country to be awarded a local authority block contract for home care for older people, and we now operate public sector contracts nationwide. Since then Agincare has continued to grow into new areas and diversify, innovating and introducing new services over the years.
A key to the successful growth of Agincare was the appointment Raina Summerson, now Chief Executive, whom joined in 2004. Raina brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience as a qualified social worker with a Masters in Mental Health Services. Before joining Agincare, Raina had worked in private care, local authorities and the NHS. She also possessed valuable experience as a regulatory inspector of care homes and domiciliary care agencies.
Raina is a passionate champion of social care, calling for reform, workforce development and long term funding for the sector. In her role Raina has given evidence to Government select committees, contributed to leading sector reports and think tanks. Raina speaks up for social care in the national media and is proud to be an Ambassador of John’s Campaign. It supports the rights of family visitors and essential carers in health and care settings. In recognition of Raina’s contribution to the sector, this year she was recognised in Home Care Insight’s inaugural Power List as a Voice of the Industry.
From a single care home, Agincare has grown to be a leading, independent social care provider. Today we employ some 3,500 people to deliver high quality care nationwide from over 60 locations. Our services now include care and nursing homes, live-in care, domiciliary care, extra care, support for younger adults and related support services across the country. It means that we are one of the very few providers nationwide that offers a comprehensive range of high quality care options. It’s how we are able to tailor care to every client as their needs change, in a way that few other providers can.
From day one, our delivery of high quality care has only been made possible by our biggest asset – our incredible workforce – and we never underestimate our responsibility to look after them in return. Their heart to care is why our services, regulated by the Care Quality Commission, consistently gain top reviews and scores on sites like Trust Pilot and carehome.co.uk, making a real difference to the people we care for and support 24/7, 365 days a year.
We’ve been proud to have been recognised by Indeed as a top rated workplace in the UK private sector. We‘ve also been named as one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’. It recognises the UK’s fastest growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses.
Unlike many other care providers, despite our rapid growth and success, Agincare has remained family-owned with no external investors. We are a local and caring organisation driven by people with a passion for what they do.
As an independent, family-run and owned care provider, we are always focused on long-term sustainability, providing peace of mind for our clients and their loved ones. Derek’s three sons Adam, Simon and Piers Luckhurst have also learnt care from the ground up. They are now taking a leading role in Agincare’s growth to ensure it has a successful future, whilst staying true to the values it was built on.
So what does the future hold? Here’s a final few words from Derek…