Abbeyfield chairman awarded OBE in New Year Honours list

Ian Plaistowe OBE

Ian Plaistowe has been awarded an OBE for his services to elderly care and education. - Credit: CPG Photography Ltd

The chairman of The Abbeyfield Society has been recognised in the Queen's 2021 New Year's Honours.

Ian Plaistowe, who has been chairman of Abbeyfield since 2015, has been recognised with an OBE for his services to elderly care and education.

The St Albans-based charity, which provides housing and care for older people, was established in 1956 and has the royal patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.

During his tenure as chairman of Abbeyfield, Mr Plaistowe faced the difficult task of sensitively managing an unexpected change in the organisation’s leadership after the former chief executive was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

He has played a key role in driving Abbeyfield forward through this period, until the appointment of David McCullough to the role on a permanent basis in 2017.


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Mr McCullough said, “Since I have known him and for years beforehand, Ian has gone far above and beyond the call of duty, displaying outstanding commitment and leadership of behalf of the thousands of residents, volunteers and staff in the Abbeyfield family.

"After 14 years of service, he shows no signs of slowing down and exudes the same drive and passion for the wellbeing of older people as he has ever done.

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"With Abbeyfield having recently completed a strategic review and subsequently embarking upon an exciting and significant period of change, Ian has helped to begin a new chapter in our history.

"Abbeyfield owes a huge debt of gratitude to Ian for his energy, wisdom and invaluable experience, which he shares generously in service of our charity’s current and future success. I know that Ian would not have sought this honour but I am delighted that his voluntary service has been recognised.” 

Upon receiving his OBE, Mr Plaistowe said: “I am delighted and humbled to receive this great honour, which I accept on behalf of my fellow trustees, our fantastic staff and volunteer teams, and all of our residents, who are the reason we are here.

"I have greatly enjoyed my 14 years with Abbeyfield and look forward to being part of the Abbeyfield Family for many years to come.”

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