“It has been a great joy to watch this man defy every expectation.” So says one of the characters in the new film about the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.

I watched the film last week and loved it. It was an amazing performance by Eddie Redmayne and really made me think about the things some people overcome.

What’s clear from the film though is that he didn’t overcome his disabilities on his own. And it’s no exaggeration to say that colleagues in our retirement housing, care homes and support services are helping older people across England defy expectations every single day.

Too often older people are still written off by society. Research by BBC Breakfast has found that almost three in five people think the older generation are not treated well in society. And research this week showing just 40% of Brits would be willing to move a family member or themselves into a residential care home, indicates how much work we have to do show what great things go on every day.

Your Care Rating, the cross-sector customer survey, is one way of showing the impact we have on the lives of our care home residents. I’m looking forward to seeing some great headlines when the results are published on 9 February.

Crucially, our regulators are recognising good work when they see it. Well done to the teams at Cranlea, Godiva Lodge, Townend Close and Trinity Lodge who have all secured good ratings under the Care Quality Commission’s new ratings system.

News spreads fast – and with more customers online than ever before we have to ensure people have reason to say good things about us. More customers online can also help us be more efficient. Our first customer has signed up to access their account information via the Anchor website. As more people switch to that method, we will see our printing and postage costs fall.

As they say in The Theory of Everything: “One never knows from where the next great leap forward is going to come, or from whom.”

View all