Southsea-based charity Abbeyfield Solent changes its name to Elm Trees Retirement Living

One of the Elm Trees houses
One of the Elm Trees houses
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Abbeyfield Solent Society Limited is now operating under its new name of Elm Trees Retirement Living and will continue, as an independent charitable organisation, to provide retirement living accommodation for the active elderly wishing to reside in the Solent area.

Abbeyfield Solent has, since the 1960s, been a member of the national Abbeyfield Society. In recent years, however, the separate objectives of the two organisations have become increasingly divergent, with the Abbeyfield Society taking on more direct management and ownership operations, and diversifying its services to provide a wider range of different housing and care options, including care homes and dementia care.

A garden at one of the Elm Trees properties

A garden at one of the Elm Trees properties

Meanwhile Abbeyfield Solent has continued to focus on managing its local operations and taking forward its own strategic plans for growth and development in the Solent area. Consequently, the trustees have decided that now is an appropriate time to end their affiliation with Abbeyfield and pursue the Trust’s objectives independently.

As a consequence of ceasing to be a member of the Abbeyfield Society, the Trust is required to change its name and logo. The new name has been chosen to reflect and reinforce the company's commitment to the local community. 

Before Jane Gillitt left 50 St Edwards Road, Southsea in her will to be used for charitable purposes, stipulating that thereafter the house should bear her name, it had been called Elm Trees. It therefore seemed appropriate to the Trustees that this historic link should be resurrected and used as the new name going forward.

Emma Bell, Chair of the Elm Trees Trustees, commented: 'Abbeyfield Solent has been a leading provider of retirement living accommodation for older people in the Solent area for more than 65 years, since its incorporation in 1962. 

An Elm Trees Retirement Living dining room

An Elm Trees Retirement Living dining room

'This year is a particularly exciting one for us as, in addition to the four existing houses, which we currently run in Portsmouth, Havant and Southsea, towards the end of 2019 we will be opening our new property, Myfanwy House in Cosham, which will provide 14 apartments, some with double accommodation, enabling residents to benefit from their own separate sitting room and bedroom with en-suite facilities. 

'We have built up a wide range of expertise within our Board of Trustees, and this is backed up by a strong and experienced team of administrators and housekeepers. As Elm Trees, we are very confident that we can continue to deliver our excellent services that meet local needs going forward.'