Today, Carr Gomm supports about 2,000 people and families in communities across Scotland every day, so it is incredible to think that as recently as 1997 our organisation was established as an innovative and ground-breaking thought experiment: does Scotland need a person-centred organisation to support people to live in their own home?

In the midst of the post-Second World War poverty and desolation, before the creation of the welfare state and NHS, Major Richard Carr-Gomm felt driven to address inequality.  He believed society could be better.  He believed that no one should feel isolated or lonely.

With his army pension, Richard bought a house and extended an open invite to “come and live with me and we’ll work out how to move on”: find friendships; find a job; find a place in society.

Richard Carr-Gomm was a maverick philanthropist, determined to make a difference to society.  By the 1960s, he had created a network of houses and the Carr-Gomm Society was created as a charity 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 home 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 recognition of the approach, thinking and passion of Richard Carr-Gomm.

Since 1997, Carr Gomm has developed and grown because our approach delivers positive impacts in people’s lives.  We never settle for good enough but always aim to innovate, improve, develop, exceed expectations and push boundaries.