A charity providing specialist dementia support has received an unexpected £400,000 windfall.
Dementia UK was presented with the substantial donation following the solvent liquidation of care home and sheltered accommodation provider Careways Trust by Smith & Williamson.
The cash – most of the surplus funds held by the trust after all creditors had been paid in full – will provide 16 new specialist dementia nurses.
Careways Trust Ltd (then Crossways Trust) was established as a charity in 1949 by 22 member benevolent funds to provide auxiliary care and accommodation for their elderly or infirm beneficiaries.
The trust thrived for 60 years, but by 2009 its financial performance became a cause for concern due to increased care home regulations and costs, member funds closing their own homes and pension fund deficits. Without appropriate corrective action the trust would, over a period, most likely have become insolvent.
Hertfordshire-based Careways Trust chairman Ray Flanigan said: “There had been many attempts to turn things around, but it was a real struggle for the trustees to try to run a business on a voluntary basis and still keep an eye on the trust’s charitable aims.
“We reluctantly decided – on advice – that the trust had run its course. If we had tried to go on much longer the capital would have been eaten up, with nothing left for the charities we’ve now been able to support.”
Smith & Williamson got involved in 2014 – when the trust was operating sheltered accommodation in Birmingham and a care home in Sussex – to help plan strategy and achieve an acceptable solution.
The trust first sold the 19-unit Buckingham Court sheltered accommodation complex in Selly Oak, Birmingham as a going concern in 2015, followed by Weald Hall and Lodge in Wadhurst, East Sussex, a traditional country house care home providing residential and dementia care, again as a going concern.
Careways then entered into Members Voluntary Liquidation, with the unanimous agreement of its member funds.
Mr Flanigan added: “Smith & Williamson have been incredibly helpful – I can’t praise them enough. Greg Palfrey, Craig Aitchison and the team have enabled us to not put a foot wrong throughout this whole process with exceedingly sound advice and support.
“They have dealt with incredibly complex issues, marshalled us through difficult situations, worked on strategy and have been with us all the way.”
Greg Palfrey, Smith & Williamson partner and national head of restructuring and recovery, said: “Our intimate knowledge of the care and charity sectors stood us in good stead, as did our commercial viewpoint.
“We worked closely with the trustees on strategy and options in tandem with the Charity Commission, the Care Quality Commission, pension trusts and lawyers to deliver the best possible solution for Careways Trust.”
Southampton-based Mr Palfrey added: “Our expertise in this field is second-to-none and our early involvement with clients and ongoing advisory services helps them to plan the optimum outcome – not always closure – through a close working partnership.”
Dementia UK was chosen to receive the windfall because it operates in a similar field to Careways in that it provides care to the people most in need as well as its collaborative approach with other organisations.
Dementia UK chief executive Dr. Hilda Hayo said: “We are delighted to receive such a large donation which will enable us support even more families living with and affected by dementia.
“This £400,000 will help fund 16 new Admiral Nurses in areas we currently do not cover – Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire.
“Admiral Nurses work with families affected by dementia, enabling and empowering them to look after the person with dementia in their own home, for as long as is practical and wished for. Careways Trust operated with an ethos of compassionate care and we are grateful to them for handing us this baton.”
Dementia UK, with roots back to 1988, was founded by the family of Joseph Levy, who had vascular dementia. He loved sailing and was affectionately known as ‘Admiral Joe’, and the charity’s 222 Admiral Nurses are named after him.
Admiral Nurses offer one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions to the challenges facing families living with dementia, which can be hard to find elsewhere.
Supported by Dementia UK, Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need. When things get challenging or difficult, Admiral Nurses work alongside families affected by dementia, giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions, helping families face dementia with more confidence and less fear.
A second donation of £100,000 was given to the Abbeyfield Ferring Society which runs a care home in Worthing, West Sussex.