35 years is just the start for success story Agincare

Published: Tuesday 2nd March 2021

This year marks the 35th anniversary of leading independent care provider Agincare.

From a single care home in Weymouth, Agincare has grown to deliver high quality and affordable care in over 50 locations nationwide, employing over 3,500 people.

In 1986 founder and chairman, Derek Luckhurst, started his first care home – Agincourt – in Weymouth, Dorset. 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.

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 now has over 70 public sector contracts nationwide.

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.

Since then I’m immensely proud that, in my opinion, we as a team have evolved into the best and greatest value care provider in the country.

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.

Current Chief Executive Raina Summerson joined in 2004, bringing 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, with local authorities and the NHS as well as a regulatory inspector of care homes and domiciliary care agencies.

Raina said:

Raina Summerson Agincare CEO

The vision for Agincare is to achieve continued growth and a national presence, through self-funded and sustainable expansion and diversification of services.

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.

Agincare has continued to expand over the years, working with local authorities and introducing innovative new services. These include live-in care, home care, extra care and support for younger adults, alongside a growing network of over 20 care and nursing homes and retirement villages nationwide.

Since 2017, Agincare’s ‘Training Now’ division has been delivering practical social care, education and other training courses, qualifications and apprenticeships to its own teams and learners from other organisations too.

Spring 2021 sees Agincare open a new office in Harrogate, Yorkshire to expand its care services in the north of England.

This sure and stable approach has seen Agincare survive three recessions and weather the current Covid pandemic to grow on a sustainable basis.

Derek’s three sons Adam, Simon and Piers have also learnt care from the ground up, and are now taking a leading role in leading Agincare’s growth to ensure it has a successful future, whilst staying true to the values it was built on.

Simon, Adam, Derek and Piers Luckhurst

Over the last 35 years Agincare has grown to be not only one of the largest providers of care in the country but one of the biggest employers in south Dorset, providing jobs and support for the local economy.

Agincare has a deep-rooted connection to Weymouth and Portland – Derek’s father, grandfather and uncles all worked in the Naval Base on Portland – and is driving regeneration on the island.

In 2014 Agincare converted a derelict naval bakery in Castletown, Portland to be its main Headquarters and house all its support teams under one roof; and it is soon to be joined by an adjacent new ‘Riggers’ office to accommodate the growing head office workforce.

Derek spearheads the Castletown Regeneration Project, which has brought many improvements to the area following the closure of the Naval Base Air Station and Underwater Weapons Research Establishments in the 1990s.

Included is a Tourist Information Centre, Crabbers’ Wharf holiday apartments complex and popular new D-Day Centre, which won a Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Award in 2020, bringing many tourists, schools and groups to the area.

Agincare will be celebrating the 35 years with its teams and clients with a series of events over the year, Covid dependent.

Find a time line of Agincare’s journey over the last 35 years.