The history of Charingfield - A history of caring
Charingfield Hostel was established in 1993 as a joint venture between the Christian Brothers and the Abbeyfield Society. The concept began when one of the Christian Brothers from Waverley College was a patient in the War Memorial Hospital. It was here that he was introduced to the Abbeyfield idea which originated in the United Kingdom. There are approximately 1,000 supportive Abbeyfield houses each containing about twelve bedrooms, to accommodate ten older people and a live-in housekeeper with a spare bedroom being for guests and prospective residents.
For some time the Christian Brothers had been discussing possible accommodation options for their older Brothers.
The Randwick-Waverley Abbeyfield group, formed in 1986 suffered early setbacks through lack of government interest and the scarcity of suitable land. Subsequently Abbeyfield applied for and received a capital subsidy offered by the Commonwealth Governments hostel programme to any organisation willing to build a hostel for older people in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
A series of meetings between the Christian Brothers and Abbeyfield Society during 1988 and 1989 culminated in an agreement to proceed with a joint project. The project provided for a supportive house for twelve older Brothers and a forty place hostel for older people, divided into four self-contained units of ten, each almost like an 'Abbeyfield house'.
The 'Abbeyfield idea' adapted by the joint venture of the Christian Brothers and the Abbeyfield Society has proved very successful. The only adaptations being the establishment of a centralised kitchen and laundry to service the five houses.