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Chris Hamill, trustee talks about our services and what’s on his Christmas list

Photo: Chris Hamill chats with supporters during our thank you reception at Lambeth Palace last year.

Why did you choose Field Lane (FL) as the charity you wanted to be involved with?

I was looking to expand my charity board involvement. Having previously been on the board of a large East London Hospice, I was very interested in social care. I’d not heard about Field Lane but on meeting with the CEO and trustees, I immediately felt a rapport and could really identify with them. I’m a retired lawyer and thought I could bring my skills to bear to support the board’s purpose. Field lane’s values and objectives were like those of the hospice, it felt comfortable and familiar. I’ve now been a Field Lane trustee for two and half years. It sits well with my other charity commitment, chair of the board for a small Herts-based charity, Small Acts of Kindness, supporting vulnerable elderly people across the county in the local communities.

What has surprised you most?

Our small-scale model of adult social care, which is very different from the institutionalised model that most people are more familiar with. The shift to smaller providers is a positive thing, in being better able to help service-users lead fulfilling lives and maximise their contribution to society. It’s a good, sustainable model, providing a workable solution for adults needing care, their families and the local authorities responsible for provision and funding. I’ve visited many of our projects and seen first hand the quality of our care provision and how happy and engaged our clients are. The staff are fantastic. I’m been so impressed with their dedication, the quality of their care and their understanding of the clients they support.

Christmas is going to be a very different this year, what is on your 2020 Santa list?

I’ve reached that stage in my life where ‘stuff’ is increasingly unimportant. This year in particular, the small things in life matter more than ever, such as work/life balance, the love of family and friends. We’ve been forced to reassess our values and the importance of making time for others. I think 2020 will have more of a lasting impact than other years – it’s been off the scale. My wish is that the goodness and kindness so many people have shown during the past nine months will endure for years to come and be the legacy of this unprecedented year. That is what is on my Santa list.

What is your hope for the future of FL and the wider role we play in social care provision?

That demand will steadily increase for what we do at Field lane. I believe we can grow our services in a prudent and sustainable way, whilst maintaining the values we hold so dear and have lived by for 150 years. It’s these values that drive the quality of what we do. I’m confident in the good model we have for delivering adult social care services. We, as a nation, are in a period of transition in terms of how care services are delivered. The state no longer has a big stake; private and not-for-profit providers can, and do, plug this gap. The new model of regulated social care is working, and Field Lane has a positive role to play. There is scope for us to expand and we have a sound strategy, focusing on what we do best – delivering high quality care services that make a real difference to people’s lives. By continuing to grow, replicating our small-scale model, more people will benefit.


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