Since we supported our first person in 1998, Carr Gomm has grown to be a leading social care charity supporting over 4,000 people in Scotland through our person-centred approach.
Carr Gomm was established as an innovative and ground-breaking organisation that was developed as a response to Richard Carr-Gomm and the Carr Gomm Society’s work in England.
Richard Carr-Gomm was a maverick philanthropist, determined to make a difference to society after World War II and fight inequality. By the 1960s, he had created a network of houses which gave support, choice and companionship, and the Carr-Gomm Society was established in England.
In 1997, the Carr-Gomm Society commissioned a researcher to consider whether there was a role for the Society in Scotland. That report highlighted that community care in Scotland was very different: the priority in Scotland was to close large institutions and group homes and support people to live in their own homes in their community using a person-centred approach.
A development worker, Chris, was recruited on a short-term contract to investigate the feasibility of creating a fundamentally person-centred organisation to work with people in their own homes, focusing on what they could and wanted to do (rather than what was “wrong”). Chris considered that the best way to test the theory of a person-centred approach was to submit a tender and learn from the feedback. He won the tender!
Having proved that the approach was required, Chris persuaded his former colleague Lucy, and together they created Carr Gomm (originally Carr-Gomm Scotland), named in honour of philanthropist Richard Carr-Gomm and his desire to eliminate loneliness throughout society. In 1998, Carr Gomm began working in East Lothian and supporting people to live their best possible life.
Since then, Carr Gomm has developed and grown because our approach positively impacts people’s lives. We never settle for good enough but always aim to innovate, improve, develop, exceed expectations, and push boundaries. Our approach and values are key to our success.
You can read more about the vision and aims of our work in our Strategic Plan.
Our values are essential and are the framework that guides every member of our team.
As active citizens in society, people should make their own choices. Some people have had their choices restricted, so our role is to ensure we support people to consider their options and possible consequences, make their own decisions, and then reflect and learn from different experiences. As professionals, we have a duty of care and so must intervene if someone is endangering themselves or others.
People are in control of their own life. Some people have experienced not being in control, and others need support to understand what this means. Our role is to help maximise the control each person has over their own life, actions, and decisions.
Openness & Honesty
We should always be honest with people. But it can sometimes be difficult to be honest if we are afraid of hurting someone. Workers are trained to think carefully and then support people with kindness and openness in everything they do.
We all have relationships and connections with other people in our community. Some people have experienced a balance of relationships that is not right for them. Our role is to ensure that people can create, develop, and maintain the relationships and connections that are right for them; with friends, family, and community.
This word is common in contemporary society: it is a way of thinking or treating someone or something. We aim to live respectfully in all our relationships, even when people do things that make this challenging; we believe that there is a reason and a communication for us in all behaviours. Our teams are trained to be non-judgmental, inclusive, and kind at all times within all of their relationships.
Kindness and Compassion
Treating people with kindness and compassion comes in many different forms, whether by listening to someone well, showing empathy or doing something big or small to support someone through their day. Our teams consistently show kindness and compassion, and, as a result, they transform lives.
Our teams are trained to apply our values in everything they do, thereby ensuring that we focus on people being active participants in living full and positive lives. We aim to build a trusting relationship with each person, which can only happen if it is underpinned by our strong value base.
Our History Timeline
- The Carr-Gomm Society recruited a development worker to investigate the feasibility of creating a fundamentally person-centred organisation to work with people in their own homes in Scotland.
- As a result, Carr Gomm Scotland was formed by Chris Taylor and Lucy Wren.
- We began supporting people in East Lothian
- We began working in Edinburgh.
- We began working in Forth Valley.
- We began working in Glasgow.
- We began working in Dundee.
- We launched our website.
- We became an SQA-approved training centre.
- We began working in Argyll and Bute.
- Lucy Wren became Chief Executive.
- Fundraising began for Community Projects to reduce isolation and loneliness across Scotland.
- We rebranded as Carr Gomm.
- We began working in Highland.
- We started employing Community Link Workers to work with GP practices in Edinburgh.
- We climbed Kilimanjaro to fundraise for community projects.
- We began working in the Scottish Borders.
- We expanded our services in Edinburgh.
- We expanded our services in Falkirk.
- We launched our award-winning Digital Inclusion Research Project.
- We launched our International Collaborations Project.
As a leading social care charity, we feel it’s vital to influence policy and stand up for what we and people supported believe in.
Having a positive impact on the lives of people, families, and communities across Scotland is important to us.