Making time

  for older people

happy & socially active life

National affiliation

  local heart

Abbeyfield Braintree, Bocking & Felsted Society (ABBFS) is an independent charity affiliated to The Abbeyfield Society. It was founded more than 50 years ago to provide private and social housing to those living in, or who have links with, the Braintree area.

Our mission is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older people through high quality accommodation in a stimulating environment to maintain a happy and socially active life.

As a not-for-profit charity with volunteer Chair and Trustees, we can apply the maximum of our resources to directly benefit our residents, ensuring a continual programme of upgrading and improving our properties.

our trustees

Board of Trustees

Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society is overseen by a Board of Trustees whose role is to ensure the charity is running efficiently and to the benefit of the residents of its properties. They bring skills and experience to the table.



Chair – Tony Cramphorn

Tony Cramphorn joined the Society in March 2000 as a volunteer and trustee. He was appointed Treasurer at the time and has helped steer the Society through many changes in the intervening 22 years. His previous experience as Sales Director of then, the largest chain of private Garden centres in the UK, and subsequently as Managing Director, has served him in good stead to provide management and promotional expertise to the business.

In his time administering the finances, the Society has grown from 3 modest homes supporting some 24 sheltered housing rooms to 168 flats, and en-suite studios accommodating around 250 residents. He is a passionate supporter of the aims of the Society to provide local homes for local people especially when they cannot provide it for themselves.



Vice Chair – Ian Norgett

Ian was appointed as a Trustee of Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society (ABBFS) in 2004. He is a qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA). Ian’s father and mother-in-law have both been residents of ABBFS and spent many happy years there. He was very impressed with the friendliness and compassion shown to residents and wanted to contribute to ABBFS success.



Barbara Guest

Barbara spent 35 years working in predominantly in the public sector, with the last 23 years of her career spent working within the education sector.  Barbara moved from a teaching role in further education to an administrative role in higher education.  Barbara’s final post was supporting a Directorate Team and co-ordinating two main areas of activity – Finance and Human Resources.

Barbara’s late mother was a resident at one of the houses run by the Society.  The Society’s compassionate and sensitive attitude towards her as an elderly person who wanted to live independently and yet required practical help to do so was awe inspiring.

Barbara joined the Society as Trustee in December 2008.



Yvonne Havis



Catherine Hutley DL

Catherine Hutley has spent most of her life in Essex. She is the daughter of a farmer from Saffron Walden, married to another and proud of all things Essex. She is past Chairman and Treasurer of the Friends of Essex Churches Events Committee and Past President of the Essex Agricultural Society. She works within the family farming business in the office and administration. Her hobbies include travel, horse racing, skiing, tennis, cycling, fine arts and theatre but most importantly family and friends.



Martin Quaife

Martin started his career serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, within the Royal Military Police, where he spent considerable time undercover on the Drugs Investigation Team conducting covert operations for both the Military and Civil Police Forces in the UK and working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in various Embassies across the globe. He resigned from the British Army following his last tour of duty in Northern Ireland where he was tasked with investigating terrorist related incidents for the Force Intelligence Unit.

After leaving the Armed Forces he pursued a career in the private Security sector, working with both commercial and private clients. His private clients included a high net worth businessman, for whom he worked over 18 years. During his time with him he managed his private security team also managing a diverse portfolio of properties and businesses. Commercial clients included BAE Systems where he was instrumental in setting up the operational infrastructure for the MAI BAE Turkey Systems project working alongside the Turkish Aviation on the TF-X programme.

Martin currently works for an American corporation, Cigna, as the Assistant Director, Global Security and Aviation International Markets. He is responsible for the operational threat and risk for all Cigna employees and premises in 21 Countries. Part of his role is to ensure that all compliance matters are adhered to and kept up to date according to the ISO 9001: 2015 along with Business Continuity Planning.

Martin became a Trustee of Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in November 2011.



David Summersgill

For the first eighteen years after a degree in civil engineering David Summersgill worked in construction for local and central government finishing as a Director in a London Borough. After studying part-time for an MBA at London Business School he became a freelance management consultant, working for the past eighteen years as an associate of Deloitte Consulting acting as a change manager in senior positions in client organisations. In addition David has worked on more traditional consulting assignments for over fifty local authorities, as well as advising the private sector with regard to local government.

Assignments included working alongside the Audit Commission Service for Birmingham City Council Housing Department when part of the service was put under ‘supervision and support’. This was followed by being the housing lead in looking at development land in the City with officers from across key departments and planning future use (over twenty years) based on research predicting population growth, skills, health, jobs, etc. Negotiated affordable housing needs with developers and the Homes and Communities Agency. Established and implemented an Older Person’s Housing Strategy (the Council had 18,000 tenants of a pensionable age) and introduced with a colleague extra care villages into the City working alongside a national charity.

From 1996 until 2020 David worked as an associate lecturer for the Open University Business School tutoring on the Diploma and MBA programmes, on Finance, Strategy, and on the MBA Foundation year across a wide range of business management topics. Apart from tutoring in the UK he worked from 1998 in Russia, Romania, Ethiopia, Switzerland and Austria on the MBA programme. He also tutored on many residential schools.

David joined the board of Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society on the 1st of April 2004 and is also currently on the Main Board of Abbeyfield England.



our people

Our People

Gill Joslin

Gill joined Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in September 2020 having previously worked in the new homes industry for over 20 years.

Gill joined Diane and the marketing team to help with the sales of apartments at Polly’s Field Village and is fully committed to raising the awareness of the Abbeyfield society in the local area.

Gill lives locally and enjoys watching football, gardening and travelling in her VW camper van.

Alison Goldstein

Alison worked as a community carer for seventeen years before joining Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in 2017.

In 2021 she took on the position of house manger for Great Bradfords House which involves looking after the general well being of the residents. She is also responsible for a small team which includes the kitchen and domestic staff.

She finds the job very rewarding especially when she sees residents enjoying the many activities.

When she isn’t working, she like to cook and spend time with her family.

Lyndsay Parker

Lyndsay joined Great Bradfords House in October 2017 when Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society formed their own care team. She enjoyed providing care and support for the residents and became a Care Team Leader before becoming assistant manager.

Prior to joining us Lyndsay worked in Domiciliary Care for 20 years and had worked for the NHS as a registered mental health nurse before this. Lyndsay was promoted to Polly’s Field Manager in October 2021 and is enjoying her new role in our amazing retirement village.

Michele Quaife MBE

Michele joined Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in February 2007 having spent 23 years in the Armed Forces. She joined as a part time Administrative Assistant and has held various posts during her time with the Society including Activities Coordinator, Company Secretary and more recently became the full time Operations Manager but also carrying on with the responsibilities of the Company Secretary.

Michele is responsible for the day to day management of the Society and remains in contact with the trustees to facilitate a responsive and effective management structure.

In her spare time, Michele still manages to coach and play netball and is involved with various committees to do the sport within East Essex.

Diane Fitzgerald

Diane joined Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in February 2015, having previously worked in recruitment.

Having worked as House Manager at Great Bradfords House, Diane now deals with the marketing of all four houses, coordinating filling any vacancies and fundraising for the Society. As a charity, it is vital that we raise awareness of our aims to provide housing for the elderly, encourage support locally and continue to grow and improve.

Diane lives locally in Great Notley and is mum to four children.  In her spare time, she is an avid supported of Manchester City Football Club going to matches whenever possible.

Sandra Ryder

Sandra joined Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in 1993 as a Weekend Teatime Assistant at Wickham House.

She was then promoted to Deputy Manager at Georgian House and after 3 years Sandra was promoted again to Manager. When Georgian House closed in 2007 she moved back to Wickham House where she is House Manager.

Sandra still enjoys the everyday challenges and finds her work with the residents very rewarding and is proud of her achievements. This is due to the support that the Trustees, staff, and her family have given over the years.

Dot Wheeler

Dot joined Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in January 2017 as the Registered Care Manager to run our team of experienced Carers providing 24 hour care in our two Extra Care houses, Great Bradfords House and Polly’s Field Village.

Dot has over 30 years experience in the Care Sector. Her career started as a volunteer in a residential day centre which she later went on to manage. She has worked in both the private sector and local authority providing care to vulnerable adults in the community

Dot feels that Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society provide the ideal place for the elderly – maintaining independence with support when needed in a beautiful, warm and friendly environment.

Cass Murray

Cass Murray joined Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking and Felsted Society in March 2011, whilst still enjoying a part time interest working in fashion on the manufacturing and designing side.

Cass manages the Abbeyfield House in Felsted alongside her small team of devoted and caring staff in a family environment. Being brought up in her family’s nursing home she has always understood from a young age the needs of people in care.

Cass enjoys the Theatre and spending as much time as possible with her family.

Come and

  join our team

We believe Abbeyfield is a great place to work and we are always looking for the very best people to join our amazing team. We want people who share our values and passion for providing the best for our residents.

work for us & get great benefits

Key benefits

Staff Reward Scheme

28 Days Pro Rata Holiday

People's Pension

Staff Training and Development



Want to join our team? Look no further – posts we are currently recruiting for are listed here.

Kitchen/barista assistant and Assistant Cook at Polly’s Field Village

, Church Lane,
Braintree, CM7

Part-Time Cook/Chef at Great Bradfords House

, Coggeshall Road,
Braintree, CM7 9GD

Helping to make more

  of later life

Our Locations

We provide supported sheltered housing firmly rooted in the local community. All our properties are either purpose built or adapted from existing buildings that have been fully modernised with ensuite facilities to meet the needs of older people. All are wheelchair accessible, and have lifts to all floors. You can see more detail below about each of our four locations: Abbeyfield House in Felsted, Great Bradfords House and Wickham House in Braintree and Polly’s Field Village in Bocking.

Abbeyfield House

In the lively and friendly village of Felsted, Abbeyfield House has recently been refurbished and is supported by the local community who regularly visit and provide various opportunities to socialise with others. Walking distance to a local shop, post office, G.P. Surgery, dispensary, churches, pubs and restaurants.

Great Bradfords House

Close to Braintree town centre, Great Bradfords House is an extra care scheme offering 35 spacious apartments. Residents live independently, safe in the knowledge that we have staff on site 24/7. Enjoy a delicious home cooked lunch in our dining room every day and join in with a range of activities.

Polly’s Field Village

At Polly’s Field Village we’ve created a brand-new retirement community where people over the age of 55 can be as active or relaxed as they want to be, surrounded by the village's inspiring countryside views. Situated on Church Lane, in a quiet and pleasant suburb of Braintree overlooking open fields, Polly’s Field Village is conveniently close to the centre of town with its shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. This high quality development has 99 homes, comprising 39 one bedroom apartments and 60 two bedroom apartments, set around a vibrant village hub helping over 55s make more of their independence. Facilities include a gym, a village hall, an activities room/library, a hairdressing and beauty salon, a bistro/restaurant, a greenhouse, guest room and spa bathroom.

Wickham House

Situated in Braintree, Wickham House opened in October 1993 and was thoroughly refurbished in 2015. Offering a balance of privacy and companionship in a modern town house, the house has 17 studio rooms. Residents bring their own furniture and have a studio with an en-suite shower room, TV and telephone points. This friendly, warm house for over 65's provides all meals, along with laundry and housekeeping.