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Multi-million pound retirement village opens its doors in Surrey thanks to funding from two ethical banks

A contemporary retirement village offering affordable accommodation for older people looking to lead independent, socially active lives has opened in Surrey, thanks to seven figure loan funding from Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank.

Nonsuch Abbeyfield in Ewell consists of 60 one and two-bedroom apartments within a three-storey complex which includes a restaurant, bar, cinema room, fitness suite and convenience store.

The multi-million pound development was the brainchild of Abbeyfield Southern Oaks, a not-for-profit provider of supported living, and was built on a disused sports ground which has been revamped as part of the project.

Mary Boorman, Trustee at Abbeyfield Southern Oaks said: “The land we purchased makes up -12 acres and while the village uses up a quarter of the site, the rest is taken up by new, improved sports pitches which we’ve leased to Epsom Sports Club. It’s a win-win for the whole community.

“We wanted to build a retirement village that was more forward thinking in terms of what   older people are looking for today.

“Nonsuch is a very grown-up place, a real retirement community where care can be accessed from an outside provider and is very much a step away from the care home model.

“People can be by themselves, or they can join in activities. It’s a place that respects the ageing process, is maintenance free and allows people to become healthier, more mobile and enjoy life.”

Nonsuch Abbeyfield is now fully occupied. Thirty-six apartments were sold targeting middle income residents in the local area and 24 are allocated for affordable rent.

Mary said: “Both Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank were extremely easy to work with and very professional, including our bank managers –Adam Ruffinato from Charity Bank and Matthew Conroy from Unity. They understood our processes and any issues we had during construction.

“There needs to be a certain amount of flexibility on both sides, and complete trust and openness is important. They were very supportive and when we find the opportunity to do another community development, we would love to do it with the same banks.”

Adam Ruffinato, National Lending Manager at Charity Bank, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to see Nonsuch Abbeyfield develop into a flourishing retirement village. With all our loans we ensure that social impact is at the heart of the project, and that’s exactly what the Abbeyfield team have achieved here.

Mary and the team have worked tirelessly to create a place their residents can call home which is built for the modern age and truly integrated into the community.”

Matthew Conroy, Regional Director at Unity Trust Bank, said: “We work with organisations that deliver impact in local communities.

“Abbeyfield Southern Oaks’ Nonsuch development not only provides very high quality, affordable living but it promotes older people’s health and wellbeing.

“We were delighted to support this project and the enhanced sporting facilities will benefit the whole area.

“The board and project delivery team overcame some quite serious challenges, not least going to market just before the first pandemic lockdown, to deliver a truly successful and inspiring scheme”

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Pictured at the official opening are, left to right, Matt Conroy, Relationship Director at Unity Trust Bank; Mary Boorman and Maurice Pagella, Trustees at Nonsuch Abbeyfield and David Chick, Director of Commercial Banking at Unity Trust Bank

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About Abbeyfield Southern Oaks Abbeyfield Southern Oaks is a member of The Abbeyfield Society, which also helped fund the project, along with donations, bequests and grants. The Abbeyfield Society was established in 1956 to provide shared accommodation for older people who were lonely and looking to live in a stimulating environment. About Unity Trust Bank Unity is a specialist business bank with a difference. With offices in Birmingham, Manchester and London, it offers an ethical alternative for businesses with a social conscience. For more than 38 years the bank has worked with organisations and SMEs that share its values and philosophy, offering a full range of banking services including current accounts, savings accounts and loans. Independent since December 2015, its purpose is to help create a better society, not just maximise profit. Unity’s focus on its customers, employees, and the communities it serves is what sets it apart and allows it to deliver on the bank’s ‘Double Bottom Line’ strategy through volunteering, education and fundraising. Unity is a Real Living Wage employer, a Fair Tax Mark business, a Women In Finance Charter signatory, member of the Banking Standards Board and currently holds the Investors in People Gold standard. Visit for more information. You can also follow Unity Trust Bank on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or go to our Linkedin page About Charity Bank Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank for charities, social enterprises and people who want to make the world a better place. It uses its savers’ money to provide much needed loans to UK organisations working to drive positive social change – bringing benefits for people, communities and the environment. Since 2002, Charity Bank has made more than 1,100 loans totalling over £400m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations. Charity Bank is owned by social purpose organisations and aims to use its expertise, commitment and flexible approach to lending, to help charities and social enterprises get the support and funding they need. Important information Registered Office: The Charity Bank Limited, Fosse House, 182 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE. Company registered in England and Wales No. 4330018. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register No. 207701. The services/products referred to in this document are intended for use by United Kingdom (UK) residents only. Nothing in this press release constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.

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