Over 60 people attended the AGM to hear about the charity’s key achievements during 2017/18 and its plans for the future. They each received a copy of Annual Review which you can download here.

This has been a busy year for Guild Care, which is celebrating its 85 anniversary. Over the last 12 months the charity has helped over 3,500 people aged from 5 to 105 from the local community.

At this year’s AGM, Chairman Allan Reid and Chief Executive Officer, Suzanne Millard reviewed the incredible work that has taken place over this period including the joining together with another local charity - Worthing Littlehampton & District Scope.

Chairman Allan Reid said: “This was a significant year for Guild Care, which saw momentous change and growth for the organisation. We had to dispose of Irene House following its closure at the beginning of 2017 and at the same time we took on the management of Worthing Scope. I would like to thank my fellow trustees, staff and volunteers for their commitment and support during this time.”

The full merger of Guild Care and Worthing Scope takes place on 1st October 2018.  Suzanne added: “The very important task of bringing the two charities together requires us to carefully think about our beneficiaries and the future of all our services to enable us to focus our resources in the most effective way”.

“The full merger will make little immediate difference to how the services are run at Scope and the Worthing Scope name will continue as a trading name of Guild Care for the next few months until we have agreed how the brand should move forward.”

Like many other providers in the care sector Guild Care has struggled over the past few years to recruit sufficient numbers of staff to run its services, this is especially difficult within Worthing which has high employment rates at the present time.

Suzanne Millard, Guild Care CEO said: “We know that the only way we can recruit the numbers of dedicated and committed staff we need is to ensure our terms and conditions of employment are amongst the best within the area. This year we committed to improving our hourly pay rates for lower paid care staff and other workers.

“We also launched a new and exciting recruitment campaign which has already attracted over 100 new members of staff across a range of job roles. National staff turnover remains an area that has to be addressed and Guild Care is now looking at longer term initiatives to help provide people with opportunities and reasons to stay within our charity.”

  

Care homes are a major part of Guild Care’s business activity and it is a priority that it continues to improve the services they provide for the benefit of both current and future residents.  Guild Care has to undertake a major refurbishment of all its homes every 10 years and this year’s focus has been on Linfield House.  Another key area of work has been completing its Dementia Care Matters project at Haviland House and achieving a Level 3 ‘Butterfly’ kitemark by the end of the year for two of its households.

Guild Care continues to run over 30 diverse community services, including dementia day services and home care, which is what makes it unique within the surrounding area.  And in June Guild Care was awarded a massive £440,000 of National Lottery Funding from the Big Lottery Fund, to redevelop part of its Headquarters to include new services for people with mental health needs. Working in partnership with Coast West Sussex Mind, the new centre is due to open in summer 2019.

Suzanne, who has just entered into her tenth year as CEO, concluded: “Guild Care is a very dynamic organisation and able to work with local partners during times of stress and change in a manner which few other charities or public bodies are able to do.

“I believe Worthing as a community is very fortunate to be able to benefit from having a charity like Guild Care which supports local people in a manner which recognises and responds to their changing needs, moving with the times by always providing services that are relevant for today.”